Chapter 53 The forgotten title
‘Interesting man, maybe I’ll ask him about the journal I found and the pyramid key.’ Ilea thought as she got up from the chair to join Agor and Jasper. Agor had returned a couple minutes ago and it seemed he had found nothing amiss with her story, otherwise he wouldn’t be walking as relaxed.
“So it seems your information was top notch. Would’ve definitely cost us more time to get through all those traps. The weapons and armor are a solid find as well. I assume you got yours there too?” Jasper said as she reached them.
“Nah, fell off a wagon in Dawntree.” Ilea said and smirked as she got her helmet back on.
“You can keep it, doesn’t matter if there’s fifty or forty nine. Guess some people will help themselves as well.” Agor said but Jasper didn’t seem to find it as funny. He didn’t say anything more though and motioned to the doorway that led to the teleportation gate.
“So you want us to follow, the scouts are doing their jobs and setting up a way down to the armory will take at least a couple hours. Let’s do this now then, shall we.” Jasper said and Ilea nodded with her horned helmet before walking towards the door.
Agor and Jasper followed her as she entered and led them through the destroyed trap rooms. Seeing their hesitation she explained. “I checked through here, there’s no active trap. Hope you guys have a way of flying though, the next one is a big chasm much like the way to the armory...” she finished just as they entered the stairway to the turret trap room. She took the silence as an answer and assumed there wouldn’t be a problem.
Ilea jumped off from the destroyed edge of the once astonishing bridge. Flying through the air, her wings of ash materialized and moved to keep her there. She flew upwards a couple meters and turned around to see the others looking at her.
“Always wanted wings...oh well.” Agor said and jumped off. He touched his arm and a massive dark chipped great sword materialized in his hand. He fell downwards before he moved the sword below himself when a massive burst of red fire exited from the blade’s top that was now pointing behind him. Like a rocket he first stopped falling and then shot towards the other side with comparable speed to Ilea’s wings. Ilea smirked at the “wohooooo!” that came from the less and less serious seeming Agor.
Jasper just sighed and jumped off too. Ilea saw with her magic perception that there were blue magical fields forming below his feet from which he jumped off. He stopped and looked at her two steps later, motioning for her to lead the way. ‘Still doesn’t trust me eh? Well he’s smarter than me...’ she thought and shrugged before flying off, trying to catch Agor.
She closed in on the man but didn’t quite manage to pass him with the lead he had before he slammed into the opposite wall. Right before reaching the wall, the fire had stopped and he made the sword disappear again before slamming his outstretched hands into the stone.
Slowly working his way downwards, he reached Ilea who was already waiting in the doorway. The two stayed there and waited for Jasper who was still quite a way off. “Storage ring?” she asked the man. He shook his head and showed her a bracelet on his arm.
“Just for the weapon, was a gift by my favourite smith, love that guy.” he said and stuffed the bracelet back into the gauntlet.
“Who is he if I may ask?” Ilea said while playing with her dagger that she took with her.
“His name is Balduur Birch, resides in a village near Morhill. Mention me and bring him something interesting to work with and you’re golden.” he answered. Jasper arrived then and Ilea moved onwards. Before the two followed her down into the once dark and monster infested swimming pool, Jasper stopped her.
“I want to know why you dragged us two down here first. No secrets this time.”
Ilea sighed. “Alright. There’s a lone centurion down there. Likely around level 300. I wanted to beat it alone but I guessed you wouldn’t just let me leave the expedition at this point. So how about it...is that enough for the information I provided?”
The two others looked at one another, Jasper lifting his right eyebrow at Agor. “I’ll stay out of it Lilith but I can’t speak for Agor here. I assume it’s been a while since he found something close enough to his level to kill.” he said and Agor just nodded.
“You and me girl. Trust me it’s still worth it for the levels if the thing really is 300. Last one I fought was around there as well if I remember right. Wouldn’t want to miss that fight...I owe you one.” he said, nodding towards her.
Ilea sighed again “Oh well, why did you lead this expedition down here again?” she looked at Jasper who just shrugged at her with an uncaring expression. “Down we go then, don’t be scared by the squid.” she said and jumped down the hole. Before hitting the ground, she activated her wings and flew to the next doorway, looking sideways at the tentacle monster and hulling up her nose at the more and more intense smell of decay coming from the corpse.
Ilea noticed that the water was ever so slightly higher since her last venture into this part of the great hall. ‘A leak somewhere then...’ she thought as she waited for the others in the room before the teleportation one.
“Jasper I’d prefer you leave the room once you confirmed the centurion. I don’t want to lose any experience because of your presence.” she said and Agor put his hand on the man’s shoulder.
“She’s right you know.” he said and Jasper just shook his head.
“Sure, sure. I’ll never get you battle maniacs...”
“How’d you get to 200 again old man?” Agor asked him and chuckled.
The three went into the next room where the centurion slowly came to life. The light above reflected on the machine’s carapace, shining on the light amount of dust in the room.
“Here we go then, Jasper you’re convinced?” Ilea asked as she got off her helmet and chucked it to the side. It landed with a clang as Jasper nodded and left the room swiftly.
“He’d be a big help you know...” Agor said after the man had left and the centurion started to advance towards them.
“Oh I’m quite sure...but even you are unnecessary here...my spiky friend.” Ilea said as her buffs activated. This was no place to hide any of her power, even if Agor was there and Jasper likely had a way of seeing what was happening.
“Spiky hmm? Well you’re just as unnecessary...and removing the helmet doesn’t mean your armor ain’t spiky...” he finished as his great sword materialized, the red fire that was used to propel him before now coming from both the sword and his body.
The centurion threw its spear at Ilea who dodged to the side easily, slowly advancing on the creature before starting into a sprint. Agor followed her example and flanked the centurion. ‘Well maybe I can save some time at least...’ she thought as she reached the creature who immediately thrust its spear towards her. She dodged with her body without moving in and was satisfied when the machine turned around to block an incoming sword hit by Agor.
Using the split second to its fullest, Ilea moved in and delivered two punches before blocking the butt of the centurion’s spear with the palm of her hand. It didn’t pierce but she was thrown back a couple meters, landing on her feet. Contrary to what she’d expected no spear throw followed and she looked on as Agor blocked the spear attacks with swift movements of his ridiculously large sword.
‘Fuck it...’ she thought and blinked next to the creature’s head to deliver a kick. Destruction and Wave of Ember released into its head followed by the kinetic force of her full weight and strength supported by all her stats. It didn’t unbalance the centurion but its attention was on her before a heavy swing of the chipped great sword hit its torso.
The sound of metal on metal could be heard before both Ilea and Agor quickly retreated a couple meters back. “Not bad, that the move you used to get behind that scout?” Agor asked and she nodded. “Why didn’t I get a short range teleport move...annoying.” he said and moved in again. Ilea followed.
The two could match the centurion in speed and certainly in ferocity. Blow upon blow was delivered, not leaving the enemy enough time to focus on one of them for long enough to pin them down. Five minutes later the machine went into its defensive phase. “Second phase eh...” Agor said.
“They do that all the time? Third is the reckless one then. How would you categorize the self destruct in the end?” she asked with a smirk.
“I guess we have two experiences then to confirm the theory. The self destruct? It’s the last ditch effort and the only thing dangerous about these fuckers.” he said.
“Hah, you would be skewered by its spear with a single hit...” she said while dodging a throw. Blinking in, her fist hit the machine’s fist and she was blown backwards. Her destructive mana had been delivered nonetheless.
“That’s why there’s a healer here...” he said as his sword hit one of the machine’s legs with a loud crash. He let go of it to lean backwards and dodged a swipe in doing so. Landing on his right hand he pushed himself to the left, away from the creature’s spear thrust. The sword had vanished and appeared again in time to come between the spear and his armor.
Ilea blinked behind the machine’s head and delivered another kick. “I do hope you can actually heal my dear...” he said while skidding backwards from the blocked attack.
Ilea was slapped away by the machine’s right hand that didn’t hold its spear, attacking both of the intruders at the same time. She flew a couple meters before her wings materialized and she stabilized. “I can, probably not comparable to the healers you have with you but I do have quite a formidable skill...I tanked most of the last centurion’s explosion with my body and recovered.” she said while advancing from the air.
“That’s reassuring to hear.” he said before throwing his sword at the creature in an arch. The centurion simply caught the weapon and threw its spear at Ilea at the same time. It was dodged and the machine had to block again with its body.
“I assume the mana that enters the creature when you hit it deals damage.” Agor stated as the weapon vanished again from the creature to reappear in his hands. He moved in again, only to be pushed back by its spear.
“Yea it does, gonna take a while with my level though but I assume you don’t deal much more damage either. 200 or so?” she asked, delivering a kick but being caught in the process. Reversed Reconstruction flowed into the creature immediately. Instead of thrusting its spear at Ilea as the previous centurion had though, it smashed the woman into the ground. Her ribs cracked even though the armor took a lot of the force. Blood spurted out of her before Agor’s sword distracted the machine again.
It used Ilea as a weapon and threw her at Agor, likely letting go because of the destructive mana still flowing into it. He caught her and skidded backwards for ten meters, letting go of his weapon.
“My prince!” she exclaimed, looking up at him while blood flowed from her mouth. Letting go of the woman, Agor summoned his sword just in time to deflect the thrown spear.
Ilea turned in the air and caught herself before sprouting wings again. “Around 200, yes.” he said as three more throws were deflected as he was pushed back a little.
Ilea, having healed her light injury was moving in again, dodging the machine’s spear while Agor advanced again. Seven more minutes of fighting later, the centurion went into its third stage, attacking them in a much more aggressive manner.
“What do we do about the explosion?!” Ilea shouted, blinking away from the machine’s assault, only to be lightly cut by its thrown spear that was a little too close to be dodged completely. Agor in the meantime had his sword stopped by the creature’s arm and dodged the other hand that tried to punch him. The centurion used the man’s sword to slash at him after the punch, leaving no room to dodge further.
Agor was blown away to the side, hitting the ground several times in his skid before impacting heavily into the cave wall. Ilea’s kick was delivered to the creature’s back, before it turned around and caught her foot. She smirked at the centurion while mana poured into it.
The machine imitated its copy’s moves and cut through Ilea’s leg at the knee to which she blinked away and dodged the thrown spear while laughing and showing two thumbs ups to the centurion. “Hey Centurion, what has two thumbs and doesn’t give a crap?” she asked before dodging another throw, her leg was already in the process of rebuilding.
“Ilea Spears.” she said and advanced again. This time the creature didn’t catch her again but tried to unsuccessfully pierce her with its spear. A couple of glancing strikes didn’t quite manage to cut through her armor but unexpected to her, the spear got caught in the armor after one strike and the machine used that to slam the woman downwards into the ground before delivering another blow.
The impact was enough to delay her activation of blink for a split second and the spear pierced her lung. A loud impact of metal on metal reverberated through her ears as Agor’s sword impacted the creature’s back. It had let go of it after Agor was thrown away.
“Should’ve gone for the head...” she said and blinked backwards to heal the damage. “How are you holding up Agor?!” she shouted at the man who was blocking spear thrusts again. The side of his armor was dented a little and there was blood dripping down on his chest plate.
“Been worse...been better. Ilea huh?” he asked as another thrust made him skid back again. The subsequent throw was sloppily dodged and glanced his shoulder piece, making him twirl around. The centurion advanced but was hit by the slash that was enhanced by the twirling momentum.
Ilea had taken care of the wound by now, at least mostly and moved in again to buy Agor a bit of time. Her kick was blocked by the spear’s pole which gave Agor an opportunity to strike again. “About that explosion, can you lift that thing?!” he shouted as his massive sword hit, making one of the legs buckle.
The centurion slashed its spear towards Agor with Ilea in the way, making her blink away and him move backwards to dodge. “Should be possible if it’s not actively attacking me!” she shouted back and moved in again from the air.
Agor met the creature’s spear and was rewarded by the impact of her kick on its head. Moving backwards from the machine, he shouted to Ilea as a bright light came from its core. “Spear!!” the flames around him grew more intense, their translucent edges more defined as he rushed towards the creature with his sword in front, his movement much faster than before.
Ilea understood and blinked next to the centurion’s outstretched arm while arching backwards to deliver a kick below and slightly behind its arm. The force made its arm move ever so slightly, its spear scratching into Agor’s helmet, barely reducing his speed in the process. Ilea’s kick to the nearly immovable machine let her bounce back to the other direction, landing on her feet just as Agor’s sword impacted the centurion’s chest.
A loud noise moved through the room and the shock wave moved dust and debris away as Ilea blinked behind the creature that had been lifted half a meter high by Agor’s dash while being thrown back over a meter already. She grabbed onto one of its legs and spun her body with all her strength and buffs active, her runes and lines of ember shining bright in the process.
The already airborne machine couldn’t resist as it was thrown towards one of the cave’s walls, crashing into it just as its core reached its explosive temperature. Ilea locked eyes with Agor as her spin came to an end and his sword slowly sunk downwards, a massive explosion rocking the cave behind her.
‘ding’ ‘Your group has 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 166. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Azarinth Healer has reached level 167. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Azarinth Healer has reached level 168. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Ash Wielder has reached level 160. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Ash Wielder has reached level 161. 5 Stat points awarded.’
‘bing’ ‘Azarinth Sphere reaches 2nd lvl 16’
‘bing’ ‘Magic Perception reaches lvl 15’
‘bing’ ‘Azarinth Perception reaches 2nd lvl 8’
‘bing’ ‘Azarinth Reversal reaches lvl 13’
‘bing’ ‘Shroud of Ash reaches lvl 15’
‘bing’ ‘Wave of Ember reaches lvl 15’
‘bing’ ‘Ashen Wings reaches lvl 6’
‘bing’ ‘Eyes of Ash reaches lvl 12’
‘bing’ ‘Body of Ash reaches lvl 11’
‘bing’ ‘Ashen Warrior reaches lvl 7’