Chapter 50 Demon of Ash
Ilea was granted her wish in the next room as a beautiful large cave with a white crystal on top much like the room she had found with Felicia’s group opened up to her. In the middle of the room was another pond but much larger than the one before. A massive rock stood out in the middle and overlooked a part of the pond.
On the very top of it stood a centurion. Ilea breathed out at the sight and checked the rest of the room. ‘No other guardians...’ she thought and quickly checked her status.
Name: Ilea Spears
Unspent statpoints: 0
Class 1: Azarinth Healer – lvl 160
- Active: Destruction – 2nd lvl 20
- Active: Reconstruction – 2nd lvl 18
- Active: State of Azarinth – 2nd lvl 20
- Active: Blink – 2nd lvl 20
- Active: Azarinth Sphere – 2nd lvl 14
- Passive: Body of Azarinth – 2nd lvl 11
- Passive: Azarinth Fighting – 2nd lvl 20
- Passive: Magic Perception – lvl 14
- Passive: Azarinth Perception – 2nd lvl 6
- Passive: Azarinth Reversal – lvl 10
Class 2: Ash Wielder – lvl 154
- Active: Shroud of Ash – lvl 12
- Active: Form of Ember – 2nd lvl 7
- Active: Ash Surge – lvl 6
- Active: Body Heat Manipulation – lvl 1
- Active: Wave of Ember – lvl 13
- Passive: Ash and Ember Manipulation – lvl 15
- Passive: Ashen Wings – lvl 4
- Passive: Eyes of Ash – lvl 10
- Passive: Body of Ash – lvl 9
- Passive: Ashen Warrior – lvl 5
- Elos Standard language - lvl 5
- Identify - lvl 4
- Meditation – lvl 2nd 14
- Poison Resistance – lvl 16
- Heat Resistance – lvl 14
- Pain Tolerance – 2nd lvl 2
- Mental Resistance – lvl 5
- Fear Resistance – lvl 1
- Water Resistance – lvl 5
- Wind Resistance – lvl 3
- Lightning Resistance – lvl 1
She had nearly thirty levels more compared to her fight against the single centurion in the teleportation room. Additionally several levels in a lot of skills had been gained, not to mention wings.
She shrugged and started walking. ‘Might as well give it a shot...’ she thought and spread her wings after five steps. Flying closer to the centurion, the machine woke from its slumber and aimed its spear at the intruder. “And so it starts...”
The thrown spear was dodged even in her flying form. Her speed hadn’t lessened and if it was only a single projectile she was confident in her airborne form. Ilea dived quickly and her descending kick was blocked by the centurion’s outstretched hand. The spear materialized in its other hand and its thrust was dodged by her as she flew backwards again, away from the machine.
The spear was thrown again and dodged. She sped up just as she did before and released Destruction and Wave of Ember into the outstretched arm. ‘It won’t be this simple though...’ her thought was confirmed on her third try of the same tactic as the centurion didn’t summon his spear but instead grabbed at her leg with both hands.
Her spells were released but the machine powered through and squeezed her shin, nearly breaking the bone. Being grabbed by the machine let her use the anchor to get closer towards its head with her torso. Five quick punches with all her offensive skills were released into the creature’s head, rocking the metal plate before it let go of her leg with one hand.
Three more punches landed as the centurion summoned its spear and thrust at the woman whom it still held in one of its hands. Ilea’s wings moved with their full force as she twisted her leg and torso. The spear was narrowly dodged as it cut her shoulder lightly. Activating Azarinth Reversal, Ilea started pumping destructive mana into the machine through the leg it was still holding.
Another five thrusts followed while more and more mana flowed into the creature. Ilea managed to narrowly dodge three of them while two actually cut deeply into her. She had moved her body in such a way as to make the thrusts miss her vital organs though. The machine apparently didn’t deem it worth it to continue this line of attack and let go of her leg.
Ilea immediately blinked upwards as another thrust pierced the air where she just was. Deactivating Azarinth Reversal, she started healing her wounds and looked at the centurion. ‘I think I might have this...’ she thought and dodged the thrown spear.
Another three throws later, she was healed fully and advanced again. The fraction of a second the creature needed to summon its spear was enough for her to land a kick. Even though it blocked all her hits, the skills that didn’t rely on kinetic force did their damage. Ilea was lucky that nearly all her damage came from non kinetic energies.
‘To think the wings had made the difference.’ she thought as she dodged another throw. The creature grabbed her legs again upon which she channeled mana into it. This time though the centurion didn’t aim for her body where she could dodge its attacks but cut straight into her ankle, above where it held her.
The spear went through her shroud of ash and cut deeply into her leg. She still channeled mana and moved in closer. Punches landed on the machine’s head as the second spear thrust cut through her shin completely. Ilea blinked away while wincing, dodging the spear thrown at her.
Checking her health she noticed that only about fifteen percent of it was gone after the attack. ‘Well I haven't put that to the test yet...’ she thought and channeled Reconstruction into her foot while dodging another throw. She was sure that she could simply close the bleeding wound in a matter of a couple dozen seconds but instead concentrated on regrowing it.
New bone started to form when Ilea quickly stopped and had to blink away to dodge the next throw. ‘That was something else...’ she thought, having just experienced pain similar to the demon’s mind attack she had suffered a while ago.
She activated her 2nd stage Pain Tolerance ability and continued healing. Dodging the thrown spears wasn’t very hard anymore and Ilea thought it good practice to do it while healing. It would also prevent the Guardian from repairing itself if that was possible. At least not if it looked obvious to Ilea.
Fifteen minutes later her foot was back and she tried moving it. ‘Doesn’t seem weird...’ reactivating the feeling of pain again, she felt a strong tingle in the foot but otherwise there was nothing. ‘Guess that kinda justifies the whole class being classified as a healer class...with this ability, the rest kinda pales in comparison...’ she thought and moved in on the Centurion again.
It had learned that holding her didn’t help and simply blocking her with its hands didn’t either. Damage would come through either way. A while later, with Ilea now feeling sure of her victory, the Centurion stopped throwing its spear and held it just like the one in the teleportation room had before.
“Oh no you don’t...” she said and advanced. Blinking around the creature, her hits were blocked by the spear and no destructive spells could be fired into the creature. Using Ash Surge, she clouded the machine’s sight but found it only slightly slowed by the spell. It quickly moved out of the cloud and away from the rock they had fought in all this time.
Ilea blinked in close to the ground and kicked at one of the creature’s legs. The hit landed right before the butt of its spear crashed into her and sent her flying. She tumbled and slid to a halt before cocking her head slightly, the spear rushing past. Her grin widened and she showed pearly white teeth as she ran in again. Keeping the creature moving with Ash Surge and changing from blink attacks to aerial attacks or simply rushing in from the ground was the best way to go as time and time again a single hit was landed, even as the creature got more and more defensive.
‘It’s health must’ve reached a certain threshold...’ Ilea thought as she checked her own resources. ‘So did my mana...’ she ground her teeth and flew out of the room. ‘Let’s hope it can’t heal at least...’ she thought and began meditating. As the skill and mana recovery itself were both measured in percentages, she needed less time to have full mana again than she did several months back. Close to six minutes later, she was ready to go again.
Coming into the room she flew towards the centurion and laughed at its sight. “Hahahaha, no self repair eh T-1000?” she asked mockingly and continued her assault. She hit and was thrown back, only to repeat the process again and again.
Nearly fifteen minutes of fighting later, she felt something change. Seeing the centurion change its grip on the handle again, she instinctively blinked away. A second later the machine was upon her. She dodged the spear thrust and punched with her right hand. The hit landed on the centurion’s torso but at the same time its fist hit her in the chest.
She was thrown back, her torso bruised by the attack. The centurion immediately threw its spear and ran at her with its six legs. The spear flew past as the machine attacked her hand to hand, ignoring any hits she landed on it. The fight continued like this as blows were traded until Ilea had to blink away and flew upwards to heal her severely damaged body.
Blood dripped to the ground below as the machine threw its spear again and again. Healed fully again she moved back in. ‘I’m close now...’ she thought and grew more defensive as she dodged the crazed machine’s attacks that didn’t have any regard for its own health anymore. Two minutes later, Ilea hit the creature again and readied herself for the counter attack that didn’t come.
Instead the creature grabbed her again. Her mana immediately entered it and her fists punched its torso. The machine grabbed her with both arms and squeezed her to its metal shell. Suddenly her perception sped up and her movements slowed down tremendously. Thinking through all possibilities, her eyes widened. She couldn’t blink away as the creature was holding her so she put all her strength into her wings and pushed against the creature with her arms and legs to create some distance.
A full second had passed and she had created a distance of about thirty centimeters between the machine’s torso and her own. Willing mana into her necklace, Ilea summoned the full Legate Guardian Armor in front of herself. The respective pieces appearing in front of the body parts they would be worn on.
For whatever it was worth, she also summoned the dwarf’s tent behind the armor and the cooking pot in front of her head as she leaned it backwards. Luckily the space created was enough for the armor to fit and just as the two seconds of her 2nd stage Azarinth Perception passed everything had materialized and Ilea activated Reconstruction on herself, stopping its reversal and the channel into the creature.
A loud noise and bright light destroyed Ilea’s eardrums and burned through her retinas as she was blown backwards, the armor hitting her, breaking through her shroud of ash and destroying bones and organs. The tent was shredded right through as if it hadn’t existed.
Ilea flew backwards and tumbled for nearly fifty meters before impacting hard into the wall. Her arms and legs had been blown off completely as she had still held the machine away upon its apparent self destruction.
The dwarf’s chest armor ground her bones and organs even more upon her impact with the wall as blood spurted out of her mouth. Her body had dug half a meter into the wall and she simply hung there as blood flowed downwards.
The runes and embers slowly faded from her.
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Taleen Centurion – lvl 305]’
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated an enemy one hundred and forty levels or more above your own. Additional Experience is granted.’
‘bing’ ‘Azarinth Healer has reached level 161. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Azarinth Healer has reached level 162. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Azarinth Healer has reached level 163. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Azarinth Healer has reached level 164. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Azarinth Healer has reached level 165. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Ash Wielder has reached level 155. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Ash Wielder has reached level 156. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Ash Wielder has reached level 157. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Ash Wielder has reached level 158. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Ash Wielder has reached level 159. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Reconstruction reaches 2nd lvl 19’
‘bing’ ‘Azarinth Sphere reaches 2nd lvl 15’
‘bing’ ‘Body of Azarinth reaches 2nd lvl 12’
‘bing’ ‘Azarinth Perception reaches 2nd lvl 7’
‘bing’ ‘Azarinth Reversal reaches lvl 11’
‘bing’ ‘Azarinth Reversal reaches lvl 12’
‘bing’ ‘Shroud of Ash reaches lvl 13’
‘bing’ ‘Shroud of Ash reaches lvl 14’
‘bing’ ‘Form of Ember reaches 2nd lvl 8’
‘bing’ ‘Wave of Ember reaches lvl 14’
‘bing’ ‘Ashen Wings reaches lvl 5’
‘bing’ ‘Eyes of Ash reaches lvl 11’
‘bing’ ‘Body of Ash reaches lvl 10’
‘bing’ ‘Ashen Warrior reaches lvl 6’
All of Ilea’s mana subconsciously went into Reconstruction as over the next ten minutes the worst bleedings were stopped and her arteries and damaged or destroyed organs were slowly rebuilt. She still hung in the wall, mutilated by the explosion. What would have killed almost any adventurer at her level and certainly a human on earth had taken 89% of Ilea’s health points.
The blast first dented the dwarven armor, heavily damaging it and then went on to punch into Ilea’s shroud of ash before ultimately hitting her reinforced and strengthened body. The shrapnel had been stopped by the Legate’s armor, having punched through the first layer but ultimately being stopped by the armor’s back.
A gasp of air entered her rebuilt lungs, pushing away the armor and thus reopening some wounds that had been closed. She turned off the pain and in her lucid state tried to concentrate her mana on the most important parts. It took another ten minutes of healing while meditating to stabilize herself. Her health hadn’t gone up by more than ten percent in all that time.
Rebuilding the skin on her chest, she finally closed up her torso and started to work on her face. The skin rebuilt as the bone of her jaw regrew. Light returned to her eyes as she blinked and saw the destruction before her. A small crater could be seen where they had stood before, the plants were blown away and parts of the room still burned.
Debris and pieces of metal lay everywhere on the path from the crater to where Ilea hung in the wall. Her ears popped and she started hearing the burning fire in the room and low hum of gears in the walls.
Her pain was still off as she started rebuilding her limbs. One by one they grew back. As soon as she could move her arms, she started removing the shrapnel that had managed to get through. New wounds were opened and quickly closed as the metal and stone was removed from her body. Her legs healed completely as she summoned her canteen from the unharmed necklace and drank deeply from the water.
She coughed up half of the water and let the metal canteen fall to the ground as she slowly peeled herself out of the stone. The rashes and cuts on her back began to heal as she fell to one knee. “I’m the T-1000 now...” she said and coughed again.
Ilea removed whatever remained of her dwarven clothes and stored the heavily damaged pieces of Legate armor in her necklace again. ‘Saved my life...’ she looked at the chest plate before storing it. “Hahaha...I summoned a leather tent….” she fell on her butt and simply laughed at the situation, the adrenaline from surviving the fight and actually taking down a centurion left her body as she laughed and laughed.
“And I’m naked again...fucking great.” she said, chuckling a couple times more as she got up. She then walked towards the crater and looked inside. Nothing of the centurion had remained. “Quite a blast hmm?” she asked and looked around the room. “Whatever Iron man bullshit powers these things...’ she thought while ashen wings appeared on her back.
Flying upwards, she quickly closed the distance to the pond and let herself fall into the clear water.
Rin watched on as a massive bolt of lightning entered the Guardian, finishing it off in the process. It clattered to the ground and so did she, completely spent on resources. ‘That Inström is nuts...’ she thought, referring to one of the declared leaders of the expedition and the source of the lightning spell.
‘ding’ ‘Your group has defeated [Taleen Guardian] x4’
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated an enemy thirty levels or more above your own. Additional experience is granted.’
‘ding’ ‘Sword dancer has reached level 166, 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘ding’ ‘Bladed whirlwind reaches 2nd lvl 4’
She slowly lifted herself up from the ground and smiled. “That was the last one.” someone said. Rin put her stat points into Vitality, Endurance and Dexterity before sheathing her curved swords and looking around. The expedition had voted on taking an apparently nearly cleared route through the dungeon and a majority of the people had agreed.
Rin would likely return here with another team or even her own as soon as they reached her levels. It was certainly effective to fight against enemies with such a high level. They had encountered much fewer enemies than before and progressed incredibly far into the dungeon already. At least from a pure distance perspective. Rin had no idea how big this city once was.
“We’re gonna quickly camp here and move on in three hours!” Agor shouted and people started building their cooking stations while some went to the smiths to get some armor or weapons repaired. Rin had checked her swords and they were fine so she joined the forming queue for the food prepared by the cooks.
“Scout report...” she heard someone say as over half the people in the queue looked backwards to find a healer working on a nasty cut one of the rogue scouts had received.
Jasper Horim and Agor were talking to the man until Jasper broke off to draw something on the map that was hastily placed on a table two servants had brought.
“What he say Lisa?” a man next to Rin in line asked another adventurer further up ahead.
“He found a chasm a couple streets further, and a massive door. Agor whispered something about a great hall.” the woman said and received some confused looks while others gasped at the mention of a great hall. Conversations sprang up after that and Rin tried to learn as much as she could from listening in.
“Stay increased to five hours. Prepare yourself as best as possible. The true challenge will likely start soon.” Agor said and walked over to Jasper.
“A great hall...wow...” a huge man behind her said.
“You know anything about it?” she asked and he nodded in reply.
“Oh yes, I’ve read some things about it before. It’s mostly speculation though...”