Chapter 38 Centurion
With each passing fight, Ilea could hold her own a little longer against both Aliana and Felicia. Edwin still judged her unable to face one of the sword guardians on her own and he only sparred rarely with her, demonstrating again and again how vastly inadequate her power still was, even after gaining over fifty levels.
To a normal adventurer even at level 150, Ilea would be a formidable opponent. The three people fighting alongside her against the machines of the Taleen were everything but normal though. They all had specialized classes and very effective skills for killing, with the ruthlessness and experience to use them to a scarily efficient degree.
Edwin had explained after one of their spars that Ilea had an incredible advantage with her healing against unknown enemies. A surprise attack executed by both her and her enemy would leave her healing her wounds and most opponents bleeding out. If the opponents attack didn’t kill her on the spot, she would already have an advantage.
Ilea looked through the plethora of useless skills she could choose from in her Fire Enhancer class. Edwin had told her not to bother too much with them as it was still a rather basic class. Most of the skills reflected that. Ilea did however spot one skill that intrigued her.
Active: Body Heat Manipulation – lvl 1
Regulate the heat in your body to protect yourself against harsh climates or even blend in your environment.
Category: Body Enhancement – Fire magic
Would you like to learn this skill?
Willing her mind to add the skill to her arsenal, her body cooled and heated itself quickly before she managed to control the newfound feeling inside of her. ‘Wow this is cool...’ she thought and chose a rather warm temperature.
With some testing she managed to match her surroundings rather easily, mostly thanks to her Heat Perception skill that complimented the body heat skill quite a bit.
Half an hour later Aliana called them all to herself “You guys! I’m through I think!” she exclaimed to which Edwin got up quickly while the two others followed after. At that point Felicia was playing above the chasm, flying this way and that.
“Ilea, if you would be so kind? My swords are unfit for this task.” Edwin said and gestured to the door. Her buffs immediately surging up, she stepped closer and hit the door with everything she had.
A dull sound could be heard. Edwin stopped her from punching again and with a quick motion cut into the door. Two cuts later, he inserted his hands and pulled. After a painful minute of grating noise, Edwin managed to open up the remaining part of the door. Ilea’s punch had cleared away a big chunk of the green metal that was already melted and malleable.
The four of them entered the opening into a big hall. Immediately four sword guardians advanced on the intruders while four ranged guardians started shooting from the nearly a hundred meters far away wall. Two quick movements of Edwin’s swords deflected the slugs before the others finished entering through the opening.
Water started flowing around them immediately, taking care of some slugs while others were cut in half by gusts of magical wind. The two mages walked to the side slowly while casting, each to one side of the hall. The pillars posted on each side would give them cover while they wielded their magic.
Edwin’s form blurred and appeared behind one of the sword guardians, cutting off two of its arms with clean swings before retreating from a second guardian’s approach. Ilea followed quickly behind him with a blink but didn’t stop until she reached the wall on the other side.
Dodging slugs here and there, she positioned herself in a way that obscured three of the ranged machine’s vision of her. Only two of them were focused on her as the other two continued attacking Edwin, their slugs finding only water or air instead of the desired flesh and bones.
Ilea’s punches came rapidly and several dodges and blinks later, her two opponents already showed several destroyed or damaged legs. Her stats in Intelligence helped a great deal and with the second stage of Body of Flame, the fight would only continue to become easier.
Three of the sword guardians were missing limbs at that point while Felicia managed to destroy one of the ranged enemies. Boiling water slowly worked on the guardian’s shells, slowly melting away the sharp edges of the machines.
As Edwin had to retreat from the combined assault of three machines, the third remaining ranged guardian turned to Ilea and attacked her too. A third slug to dodge sporadically made her fight much more complicated. She was used to only fight one of them at once.
Her leveled sphere and perception skills helped her tremendously at avoiding any fatal shots. A minute had passed at that point, her second stage Body of Flame bonus kicking in. Felicia and Aliana focused on the sword guardians that threatened to overwhelm Edwin with their sheer number of attacks and blades.
With more than one ranged attacker, Ilea could only buy time for the others to destroy their enemies. Her mana was still high when suddenly a spear like object entered her sphere of perception, making her blink away behind a pilar immediately.
The spear continued and entered the wall, forming a huge crack in the process. It was a spear made from the same greenish metal the guardians were made of. It suddenly vanished from the wall and entered the creature’s hand which it belonged to.
Ilea looked to the side where a new machine stood. It had six legs as well, with the same headpiece but only two arms. Compared to the sword arms the other guardians had, the machine sported quite normal arms, holding the thrown spear in its metal hands.
[Taleen Centurion – lvl ??]
Ilea moved her head to the side as the thrown spear passed her. The throw itself was as fast as Edwin’s swings, if not faster. “Centurion!” she shouted, before blinking towards the three remaining ranged enemies.
The others had managed to finish off two of the remaining three sword guardians just before she had warned them. Edwin immediately disengaged the remaining sword machine and engaged the centurion.
With two punches Ilea destroyed the last leg of one of the guardians before continuing to the next one. The guardian fell down from the wall, leaving it sprawled on the ground, turning and shooting at whatever it could.
Leaving two enemies to face, Ilea relaxed when a blade of wind cut into the guardian before her. ‘They must’ve finished the last sword guardian.’ she thought as another blade of wind unbalanced the ranged guardian.
Five punches and two kicks to its torso later, the machine gave in. Most of the damage came from the blades of wind that kept rushing into Ilea’s adversary. Only one of them remained functional now and no more magic came to her assistance.
‘I’ll finish this one normally then...’ she thought as she blinked closer and started working on the machine’s legs. It took her only two minutes to finish the last enemy. It was already damaged by her previous attacks and a couple hits of magic from both Aliana and Felicia.
Looking over, Ilea realized that the others were still engaged in the fight. And a fight it was. Both Aliana and Felicia were walking behind Edwin, throwing whatever magic they could at the centurion which was fiercely engaged in a flurry of strikes with Edwin. The most amazing thing to Ilea was that the machine could actually match the man.
It was hard to tell how damaged the centurion was but Edwin sported several damaged parts on his armor and both fresh and healed cuts from the machine’s spear. Ilea stopped watching and blinked down to the remaining ranged guardian that was nearly out of the fight but still dangerous.
Several dozen punches later, the machine’s struggles ended. Not before releasing a final slug that nearly struck her skull. She moved her head slightly right before the shot, having expected the attack.
‘ding’ ‘Azarinth Perception has reached 2nd lvl 1’
Passive: Azarinth Perception – 2nd lvl 1:
Increases your perception and reflexes while fighting. To keep up with your faster moving body a healer of Azarinth has to control it.
2nd stage: Your perception spikes for two seconds, should you be about to receive a blow that would take 75% or more of your life. This can happen only once per hour.
Category: Body Enhancement
‘Nice, no more sudden death by Basilisk sneak attack...maybe.’ she thought and looked towards the group again. Not much seemed to have changed but she could tell that both of the mages were running low. Even Edwin seemed more exhausted than she’d seen him ever before.
She had reached the final stage of her Body of Flame bonus meaning it’s been at least ten minutes since the fighting started. Felicia and Aliana were hard hitters that used up their mana much quicker than Ilea or Edwin. Although Aliana had demonstrated over twenty minutes of spells in the spar against Ilea, what she was throwing around against guardians was quite a bit more intense than the playful splashes she had used against Ilea in their first bout.
‘Playful splashes my ass...’ Ilea thought as she blinked closer to the three of them. ‘This thing is overwhelming to me and none of them seem actually hurt...’ she thought.
She didn’t want to distract Edwin from the intense battle and simply decided to move in between the man and the two mages as a second line of defense. The others immediately reacted, giving her enough space to move.
“Aliana how much do you have left?!” Edwin shouted, deflecting another five consecutive blows from the centurion’s spear. Meanwhile a blade of wind cut into the machine, leaving a deep cut in the stone below and behind the enemy but only a scratch on the green metal itself.
“I’m nearly there, tell me when to use it!” Aliana shouted back.
“Then use it, now!” Edwin’s answer made Aliana jump back a couple meters before starting her gestures. The now familiar movements made Ilea move in front of Aliana. Not a moment too late as the guardian immediately focused on her, sensing the buildup of mana from the mage.
It moved back from Edwin, while punching him in the side with its left arm. He blocked which made him move half a meter to the left right in front of Felicia. With free space before it, the centurion threw its spear towards Aliana.
Ilea blinked before the woman and time slowed down as the spear closed in on her. It was already only a meter away when her blink finished, moving too fast for her to completely deflect it or move both her and Aliana away.
Trusting all her skills completely, her hand moved to intercept the spear. It impacted her hand and cut right through before hitting her right breast. The interception had moved the spear slightly from its trajectory towards Aliana which would have made it punch right through Ilea’s spine and into the mage.
Time accelerated and Ilea was thrown away into one of the pillars as the spear traveled seemingly unhindered through the healer but past Aliana’s moving form and impacted the far wall behind them. Edwin vanished from before the creature right when the spear vanished from the wall.
The next throw of the machine was intercepted by one of Edwin’s swords, when the flood finally reached their enemy. The Taleen Centurion tried to move against the tide but more and more water came from Aliana’s spell. The flood of boiling water didn’t stop for five minutes before Felicia caught a collapsing Aliana.
The remaining water flowed towards the other side of the hall, leaving a molten husk of green metal behind.
Ilea’s body finished healing the deadly wound a couple minutes ago and simply watched the unending tide. ‘Now this is what I call a commercial...how did I survive that again?’ she thought as a bling noise interrupted her thinking.
‘blang’ ‘Your group has defeated [Taleen Centurion – lvl ??]. For killing an adversary two hundred or more levels above your own you receive bonus experience.’
‘bling’ ‘Your group has defeated [Taleen Guardian – lvl ??] x 8. For killing an adversary fifty or more levels above your own you receive bonus experience.’
‘bing’ ‘Azarinth Healer has reached level 100. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Fire Enhancer has reached level 89. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Fire Enhancer has reached level 90. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Fire Enhancer has reached level 91. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘New skill available for Azarinth Healer’
‘bing’ ‘New skills available for Fire Enhancer’
‘Two hundred levels...oh man...’ Ilea thought while getting up. ‘Wait...new skill twice?!’ checking her messages again, she rejoiced ‘Azarinth Healer...’ she read through the information.
‘bing’ ‘You have met following conditions: Reached lvl 100 in Azarinth Healer. Reached at least 2nd lvl 15 of both Destruction and Reconstruction in the Azarinth Healer class.’
‘Passive: Azarinth Reversal – lvl 1
You have learned of Destruction and Reconstruction. Now you will learn of their Reversal.
Upon activation, Destruction will send a part of the struck enemy’s mana into yourself. No mana will be released on impact, rendering Destruction’s offensive potential to zero.
Upon activation, Reconstruction will send a destructive force of channeled mana into yourself or an enemy you touch, the healing aspects are reduced to zero.
Category: Body Enhancement’
‘Would you like to learn this skill?’
“Hell yea I would!” she said out loud, the skill being added to her abilities.
“100 huh? Something good I hope.” Edwin said after having checked the remains of the centurion. “Can you check on Aliana first though?”
“Oh sure sure!” Ilea exclaimed, turning a bit red with embarrassment. All the blood from her injury hid that fact rather well though.
Aliana was fine, simply out of any juice. Healing all the minor injuries of the group, Ilea read through her new skill again and assigned the new stat points the same was as she did before. Eight points into Vitality, eight into Intelligence and four into Dexterity. ‘Level one hundred bitches!’ she thought happily as she finished up.
Looking down on herself, she frowns again though. ‘Another armor repair session eh?’ she thought, although this time it was only a massive hole in her right chest and back area. She held a hand to her exposed breast as she approached the others.
“Fought a centurion before?” she asked Edwin who was making a makeshift pillow for Aliana.
“No, I know someone who did though. I’m surprised we survived actually...we’ve grown Balt...” he stopped himself before finishing the sentence. “So what did you get for your 100?” he shifted the topic back to Ilea.
“Yes! Whatcha got?” Felicia added and jumphugged her.
“It’s very interesting. Edwin, up for a trial?” she didn’t need to ask twice as they moved a bit further away from the resting Aliana.
“So this is supposed to...well...steal mana from you?” she exclaimed a bit unsure of herself.
“Mana stealing? That’s worthy of a level one hundred skill. I have something similar with life. I believe I got it at 150 though of my second class...” Edwin said. He had a way of slipping into a scholar’s mind when it came to skills and classes, sharing knowledge that many would rather die with.
“Well with my healing abilities it’s basically the same really...let’s try then?” Ilea asked and activated Azarinth Reversal. A light punch later, all three of them smiled. What to most normal adventurers and civilians would look like a simple punch without and effect, was in fact a reversed Destruction spell. On impact, a small portion of Edwin’s mana was removed from him and integrated into Ilea.
The attack didn’t cost her any mana, just the energy of her executing the punch. “Impressive. That was more than I expected.” he said.
“It’s related to another skill I already had, so I assume it’s affected by that one’s skill level. I got a second thing too though, let’s try that one!” Ilea exclaimed, a bit inspired by Felicia’s enthusiastic glare and smile.
She touched Edwin and released a reversed Reconstruction spell. He winced away after five seconds. “You can keep that up?” he asked to which she nodded.
“That’s the most damage you’ve dealt to me so far.” the man exclaimed, one hand on his chin. “So it’s like a reversion of your healing and attack skills?” he asked.
“You’re way too smart Edwin.” Ilea sighed. They were all taken from their talk by noise coming from Aliana.
Felicia rushed to the woman and held her head, Aliana’s eyes opening slowly. “Hungry.” she said in a quiet and weak voice, before out of nowhere several big cuts of meat appeared and Aliana went unconscious again.
“Wow...Fel I told you we shouldn’t let her keep the ring on once she’s unconscious...” Edwin said, Ilea just then getting what had happened.
“She loves the ring though, and you know what happened last time I asked her to take it off.” Felicia answered.
“You guys make great parents.” Ilea said from behind the two “So everyone hungry, maybe the smell will wake her up?” A flame formed above her hand after she finished.