Chapter 22 Not a cliffhanger
The three initiates looked at her confused as she grabbed Naiir’s arm. She started glowing blue as flames formed around her. He recoiled letting out a gasp of pain but couldn’t move his arm out of her grasp, relaxing a little again after the fire didn’t burn him.
“Hold still. Something dangerous is here. Or was that normal Walter?” She asked the barman who had put down the mug and jumped over the counter.
“No, not normal. Initiates you should stay here, this likely isn’t something you can handle. Ilea, can I ask you to come with me? A healer might be invaluable. And I’m certain it’s in your best interest as well…,”
She got up after healing Naiir, who started moving his previously broken arm in wonder. “I’ve got your back… my sword?” he nodded and exited the door.
Handing her one of the guard’s swords he started running towards the epicenter of the pulse. “What do you think that was?” she asked as she easily followed his rapid pace.
“Came from the summoning hall I think. Nothing good. Let’s hope whatever whomever summoned is under control…,”
Turning the corner to the summoning hall, a dark clothed silhouette crashed into the opposite wall. “Indra!” Walter shouted as he closed in on the bleeding man.
“...Demon…,” the man gurgled the words out before Walter motioned Ilea to Indra and rushed into the room with impressive speed. His mana surging and black lightning crackling around himself.
Ilea started healing the man. ‘Broken ribs, several organs damaged. These skills really help with identifying those wounds hmm…,’ she thought. The second tier of her Reconstruction spell helped miles in saving the man’s life. She could heal specific parts but also had knowledge on what was the worst damage.
After his ribs cracked back into the right places he gasped for air. Looking at her, he seemed tired “...careful, mind…,” he slumped down in her hands. Feeling no more damage in the man she also noticed he was completely devoid of mana, probably having used it all defending himself. The noise from the room had stopped and Ilea rushed in to help. The scene before her was confusing yet at the same time mesmerizing.
Walter and Harthome were standing still with both a hammer and a fist raised. Dark lightning periodically crackling around both of them. Behind them was a being shrouded in a powerful mana with its hand around Celene’s neck. She had a vacant look in her eyes. Before Ilea could even think to teleport, the being turned its head and locked eyes with her.
A dizzying headache assaulted her, memories flooding through her brain at an insane speed. “StiLL…,” the being whispered. It’s black eyes and abyss like mouth left no power in her to argue.
‘Mind...Reconstruct…,’ Her mana surging as all of her remaining consciousness healed her whole being. The headache lessened and by the time the being turned its head back to Celene, Ilea could move again.
Seeing the being not react, she spent another three seconds getting over the shock and continuing to heal herself. Focusing completely on her head now. ‘What the hell… you fuck!’ with that she blinked next to the being and smashed a fully powered punch into it’s unprotected side. The lifted arm gave her a free shot at its torso.
[Mage – lvl ??]
Like a rag doll the being so helpfully identified crashed into the wall as Ilea caught Celene. “...YoU DaRe DeFy ME?” A loud voice only describable as a whisper spoke as the being got up in an inhuman way, it’s legs and arms bending where they shouldn’t.
Laying Celene down on the ground, she faced the being while maintaining Reconstruction to her head. Another powerful surge of mana was released by the monster paralyzing Ilea for two full seconds while she resisted the spell.
With a fluid motion the being flung its arms and two spikes entered Ilea’s eyes, blinding her and filling her with unimaginable pain. She screamed as she kept healing her mind, Only now removing her perception of pain.
“YoU wILL DiE iN AgoNY!” the whisper now felt like it was coming from inside her head. Seeing the being before her with her Sphere, it was holding its side, obviously injured by her one attack.
‘Not...such...a...strong...guy...are...you…?’ She thought sluggishly, healing the damage from what she presumed to be a mental attack.
Suddenly the pressure ended. Trying to lift her arms, an impact rocketed her backwards and she landed with a loud crack in the wall behind her. The being had suddenly moved and pushed her with a shock wave.
Seeing no bones broken, she kept only healing her head. The pressure started again and surged, stronger and stronger. “HoW dO yOU ReSIst?!? STILL!!”
Ilea felt as a massive surge of mana traveled from the spikes in her head through her body. Shivering at what she assumed to be raw pain, she was glad she had removed her perception of it.
Another two seconds of this precarious balance between damage and recovery passed when the pressure suddenly lessened.
‘ding’ ‘You have learned the skill General: Mental Resistance: You are more adept at resisting and detecting attacks to your mind – lvl 1’
‘ding’ ‘Mental Resistance reaches lvl 2’
‘ding’ ‘Mental Resistance reaches lvl 3’
‘ding’ ‘Mental Resistance reaches lvl 4’
‘ding’ ‘Mental Resistance reaches lvl 5’
A total of only twenty five seconds, half of her mana channeled to her head and thankfully no pain later, her new skill had leveled four times. ‘I can move again. Man that headache would’ve likely literally killed me.’ She stayed unmoving as the being advanced again, the pressure much less prevalent now.
Again the mental attack ceased as it pushed towards her with one limb, clearly preparing to send out another wave of force.
Ilea ready this time blinked behind the beast and slammed a fist into its back sending it towards the opposite end of the room. Spinning with the momentum of her punch, she blinked towards the being just as it slammed into the wall and delivered a kick into its already injured back.
The pressure started again but Ilea never stopped healing her head and thus brain. She steadily raised her fist and slammed it into the being now sprawled below her.
She hit its shoulder when it managed to pierce her torso with its left arm which moved unnaturally behind its back. Jerking in the last moment, she managed to deflect the fatal blow to her heart towards her ribcage and shoulder.
Holding the arm inside of her with her left arm, she delivered another punch to the being with her right one. This time she hit its left arm. It seemed the punch to its shoulder had already removed its ability to move it but she wanted to make sure. The mental pressure lessened a little after that.
The next punch hit the being’s neck, the next one its head. Each punch lessening the pressure a little until she was moving with her full speed and power, punching until no more noise or struggling came from her enemy. Punching until she felt her fist enter the ground up to her wrist behind the downed being.
Ilea quickly ripped the arm out of her shoulder and blinked away. Standing there, she heard movement around her as the others were released from the spell that held them. Circulating Reconstruction through herself, the wounds on her side quickly closed.
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Demon - Mind Weaver lvl 180].’
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated an enemy a hundred levels or more above your own. Additional Experience is granted.’
‘ding’ ‘Azarinth Healer has reached level 73. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘ding’ ‘Azarinth Healer has reached level 74. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘ding’ ‘Azarinth Healer has reached level 75. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘ding’ ‘Fire Enhancer has reached level 45. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘ding’ ‘Fire Enhancer has reached level 46. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘ding’ ‘Fire Enhancer has reached level 47. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘ding’ ‘Fire Enhancer has reached level 48. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘ding’ ‘Fire Enhancer has reached level 49. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘ding’ ‘Fire Enhancer has reached level 50. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘ding’ ‘Reconstruction reaches 2nd lvl 14’
‘ding’ ‘Body of Flame reaches lvl 9’
‘ding’ ‘Body of Flame reaches lvl 10’
‘ding’ ‘New skills available for Fire Enhancer’
Walter looked on as the girl punched into the Demon Mind Weaver, his heart sinking as the Demon pierced her side. The girl however simply grappled it and kept on punching, sending a shock wave of air and sound through the room and another shock wave of raw mana through the Demon.
‘What horrifying power… and her class is below level 72…,’ He still couldn’t move as the girl kept on punching. The pressure on his body and mind lessened quickly.
The fight was over. Their guest had saved them from an untimely demise. He looked on as she completely obliterated the corpse below her, only a little disappointed as this likely rendered it unusable for resurrection.
‘She’s gonna hear that from Indra…,’ able to move again, he breathed out and nearly buckled. Catching himself, he looked up to see Ilea a fair distance away from the beast, clutching the spikes in her eyes and ripping them out with a sickening crunch.
She crushed the spikes in her hands while her eye sockets and eyes rebuilt at an insane speed. ‘What on Elos are that girl’s classes?’ Walter thought as he noticed Harthome advancing on the corpse, completely ignoring Ilea. Raising his hammer, he finished what the healer had begun. ‘Poor Indra…,’
Ilea blinked her eyes as light entered them again. Double checking for any left damage, she reactivated her perception of pain and buckled down at the throbbing through her whole body. Dry heaving on the ground, she waited until the pain recedes.
‘ding’ ‘Pain Tolerance reaches 2nd lvl 2’
Nearly two minutes later, the pain faded completely. She tried to turn off pain completely twice but it only continued at the same intensity as soon as she activated its perception again.
‘Seems like I had to go through that…,’ relaxing on her back, she stared into Walter’s black eyes above her. He nodded and turned around. ‘How can anything hurt more than being burned alive?’
She sat up to that puzzling question in her head and saw Walter crouching over Celene. Heavy impacts of a hammer hitting flesh and stone reverberated through the room as Walter turned to Ilea and motioned her towards him.
“Can you help her?” he asked in his ethereal voice again. Touching the woman, Ilea didn’t notice anything wrong with her. Her breathing was a bit erratic and her eyes seemed lifeless but nothing looked to be damaged. Still, she started to circle Reconstruction through Celene, focusing mostly on her brain… or mind as seemed to be more accurate.
After a minute of this, she noticed that the woman’s breathing calmed a little. Another two minutes and some life returned to her eyes. “What power…,” an echoing whisper left Walter’s mouth as he looked at her with a newfound respect. Destroying is one thing, healing not just the body but the mind? That was a completely different feat.
Ilea kept healing Celene and after five more minutes, Harthome stopped his hammering and joined them silently. Celene slowly looked at Ilea and mouthed a thank you before closing her eyes. Harthome moved towards her but was stopped by Walter.
“She is asleep…,” He looked towards Ilea “...and no longer in immediate danger. Please look after Indra first. And then Harthome. I will care for my own mind.”
Looking towards him, she nodded and quickly moved out of the room to heal the knocked out necromancer, stabilizing him more but saving some of her mana. ‘Just in case…,’
Going back into the room, she locked eyes with Walter’s. ‘Unnerving...that darkness…,’
“Is he healed? And tell me what that was. That power you used on the Demon.”
“So it was a Demon… interesting.” she answered ‘It seems Celene got something a bit different than expected. Certainly not a romantic…,’ Glancing at the pieces of flesh remaining of the Demon “Indra is stabilized, I ran out of mana. I’ll continue later.”
“You lie. But it is no matter. It is only natural not to trust us. Him being stabilized is enough as of yet. Again, what was that power… what second class do you wield? Are you some sort of Pyro Enhancer? Or something more rare?”
His ethereal voice and black eyes bore down on her. ‘Maybe I should lie… but he has a way of telling, I’m sure of it…,’ Looking at his eyes, she had a feeling of it to be true. ‘...but this might be the time to gain their trust. All I’ve seen of them so far makes them a bunch of perhaps misguided but not evil scientists. And it’s certainly time to do some exploring outside again some time in the future… I’ve only left these caves a couple times since the elves attacked after all…,’
“My second class is Fire Enhancer. My main class is a sort of offensive healer class. Sending both destructive and healing waves of mana through someone by touch. What you saw of my fight was just that, combined with the Body of Flame skill.”
Walter’s posture relaxed visibly. It was certainly not poised for a fight but nevertheless tense. “Ahh…,” his eyes returned to normal but somehow his piercing glare didn’t lessen in intensity. “An interesting class then. Something I’ve never seen before. Certainly something unexpected. Powerful and unique. I’ve read about something like that at the Foundation of Glass… Would you tell me its name?”
“For the price of letting me travel freely, in this cave and outside. As an equal to your Brotherhood.” She smiled at him and he smiled back.
“With what you’ve done today, what you wish for is already granted. I’ll call you my equal and friend to the Vultures. My name is Ethinu Skorn, often called Walter. Bard and Dark Sorcerer. Combined level of 384 and Elder of the Vultures Brotherhood.”
Ilea smiled “Ilea Spears, people call me all kinds of names. Combined level of 125 Fire Enhancer and Azarinth Healer.”
Harthome laughed from the side “And I’m the mighty Harthome! You two should get a room!”
She chuckled at that but Ethinu’s eyes never left hers. “As much as I wanted to right now, he’s already hopelessly lost to another.” Ilea teased to which Walter finally averted his gaze.
“Let’s check on the others. And let’s move Celene and Indra to the common room. It’s the warmest.” Walter said after he regained his composure.
Before they could move though, an unsettling rattling sound could be heard from the now splintered door. A skeleton entered with its Falchion drawn and yellow sparkling crystals in its eye sockets. They all looked at the creature before Ilea let loose a chuckle and Walter facepalmed while Harthome was outright laughing.