Chapter 64 Snow and Ice
The city lay in flames. A beacon of light in the gray and white landscape. Ilea rushed closer on the ground, quickly reaching the walls and blinking beyond. She jumped up the closest house and looked over the city.
Fires were still burning all over the place but it didn’t feel to Ilea like they had started recently. Corpses of guards and adventurers littered the wall behind her and the streets below, interspersed by civilians and non combatants. Looking over into the next street she saw monsters feasting on the dead and even some wild animals doing the same.
[Goblin – lvl 22]
A brown bear roared at some of the small green creatures who immediately scrambled and ran away to another street. Ilea ignored either and blinked into the next house beyond. The inside was eerily untouched, she heard nobody and with her sphere couldn’t make out anything moving except the light snow that still fell outside, hiding the bloodied streets below.
She looked around the room and then continued on her way. She still knew where Roland had lived and so made her way there slowly. Two streets further she came upon five Nazarks going through a house. She would’ve let them be but found there was someone hiding in the basement.
Blinking behind the first monster a Taleen dagger appeared in her hand and she stabbed right through the beast’s skull.
[Nazark – lvl 52]
She quickly walked through the place, not alerting any of the loud and angry monsters. One by one they fell until she stood over the last of them, some of their blood had sullied her armor. Ilea quickly blinked down into the basement right behind the person hiding there, an armored woman in her teens.
[Warrior – lvl 42]
Ilea held her hand over the woman’s mouth and calmed her down as she struggled to get away. “I’m not your enemy.” was all she said and the woman calmed down a moment later. She had a nasty cut in her side which Ilea quickly healed, still holding her mouth shut.
“I have some questions and then I’ll leave you be.” the woman nodded nervously and Ilea let her go. She banged against the wall behind her as she turned around to look at Ilea. The black and bloodied armor and icy eyes behind her horned full plate helmet didn’t make the friendliest first impression. Ilea didn’t care in the slightest though.
“Elf’s came and destroyed the city?” she asked.
The woman nodded quickly “Yes! There were so many of them, I thought they only attack in groups of three or four normally...they came in the night four days ago and I just barely managed to hide away. They herded a lot of monsters in front of them and destroyed the gate to let them in...a Nazark got me badly but you healed me thank you!! I don’t know what I would’ve done down here, I’m sure they...” Ilea put her hand back on the woman’s mouth.
“Thanks, that’s enough.” Ilea blinked out and heard the woman from below ask for her help but then look around confused at the disappeared healer. Ilea closed her eyes slowly and rammed a Taleen sword she had summoned into the wooden floor before blinking to the next house.
‘So they came in force, same time as Dawntree...’ she looked around the streets. Dozens of corpses both of humans and monsters littered the ground. She stood in another street and moved one of the corpses only to find a dead elf staring back at her. ‘Not invincible...’ she thought and continued.
‘They left already then...maybe I’m the first to find the city in this state...’ she thought, ignoring some goblins and nazarks who were fighting over a shiny sword they had found. Tragedy for many would mean very successful days for others, especially in war.
Ilea ignored the dead with cold eyes, moving on through the city. Soon she came up on Roland’s house. Nothing was moving in and around the house and her sphere already told her of some of the things that had happened inside. Blinking into the living room she found Samantha’s dead eyes staring back at her.
Slowly kneeling down, Ilea closed the woman’s eyes and moved her body into a more peaceful position. She quietly moved through the house and repeated the gesture for all the other people she found dead, the icy wind of winter blowing through the house the only other noise besides her silent work.
In the end she had moved all the corpses into the living room and looked at them each before closing her eyes. Her wings spread and all her buffs activated as she stood there with closed eyes and bowing her head. “Rest now and find peace.” she whispered. Not an eloquent prayer or something deserving of the people she had known here but it was all Ilea could give.
She left the house soon after and closed the door behind herself. Roland and Lily were the only ones she hadn’t found and she had a hunch where they could be, should they still be alive. Ilea stopped a couple steps from the house though and looked around. ‘No father should see this.’ she thought and blinked to the next house. Looking through some places she found some beds and even stacks of hay which she all moved to Roland’s house, stacking them inside.
Having done that she jumped to a nearby house and grabbed a massive piece of burning wood. A loud groaning went through the room as the wood fought against her strength. With a snap it came loose and Ilea moved it to the stack of beds and hay she had prepared, setting it on fire.
She stood outside and looked on as the fire took hold, first gradually and then in an outright inferno as the wood was consumed. The fire was crackling and pieces of the house were falling when Ilea heard someone landing behind her, the snow crunching in the process.
“Ah humans...so very...emotional.” the elf said and Ilea turned around. Tears were running down her cheeks as she locked eyes with him.
[Mage - ??]
“That armor? Where did you get that??...” he asked but didn’t seem very surprised “No matter, you will die like all of your kind here have.” he gestured around himself while walking, smiling brightly at her and showing his sharp teeth.
“You cannot hurt them anymore demon.” she said to him, her mind was calm and her hands were steady.
“Demon?? You DARE insult me like this...you will suffer...they are dead already, yes. RAPED and DEFILED as you all should be...but you...you will suffer...humiliating me with such a long hunt for something...so WEAK.” he said, every shouted word brought with it magic that froze the ground around him.
“Stop talking Demon.” she said as her buffs came to life.
“AAAAH!” the elf shouted as a lance of ice formed above Ilea and rushed down. She blinked to the right and ran through the side streets, some wolves immediately rushed away at the explosion of magic behind her.
“Not here...” Ilea whispered as she ran through the streets, feeling the magic behind her. She dodged to the right as she came up on a small square, the lance of ice impacted a shop beyond, exploding into thousands of tiny shards.
The elf came out from the street and faced her, wrath and joy playing a gruesome play on his face. “Running is POINTLESS hu...” Ilea blinked in and punched the elf, releasing all her spells in the process. The monster was thrown backwards and impacted the side of a house, breaking through stone and coming to a stop on the stone ground.
“YOU DARE!!!” he shouted as he got up, his claws extending from his fingers. The blow didn’t seem to have damaged the elf at all.
“Stop talking.” she said as he advanced again, an armor of ice forming around his body while spikes came from all sides to pierce the healer. She blinked around and jumped from house to house to avoid the magic that relentlessly advanced on her.
“HAHAHAHAAAAAA DIE HUMAN!!” the elf was controlling his magic as Ilea grabbed bricks from a nearby house and threw them at him. The impacts didn’t even crack his armor of ice but it certainly helped to piss him off.
“Insolent...BITCH!!” another brick hit the elf right in his face, his head moving backwards a little at the impact.
‘I’ve gotten better at throwing hmm?’ Ilea thought as the annoying elf continued to spew insults at her while ice impacted around her. She noticed that wherever she was the air and ground would freeze slowly so she kept moving through the houses and streets. The elf followed her into the latest house and she blinked in to punch the man, cracking his armor and sending her destructive mana inside.
He was too heavy with his armor to be thrown away like before but Ilea was satisfied to see her mana reached his very core. Another punch hit as ice spikes shot out of his armor, skidding at her armor and piercing her arm near a joint.
She removed the spike as it was slowly freezing her insides and healed the damage. Her ice resistance certainly did its job as even with level six nearly half of her arm was nearly frozen in seconds.
“WHAT...you...a healer after all...” the man smiled at her just as he blocked a thrown candlestick with his arm. “You think this will...” a massive wooden closet flew into the elf and shot him backwards before impacting the wall behind. Air was pushed out of his lungs before Ilea kicked the back of the closet, splintering the wood in the process.
“AAAAH!!!” Ilea blinked outside as an explosion of cold froze a big part of the house solid. The elf burst out from the stone roof, his eyes glowing blue from below the ice armor. Some chips on it could be seen but they were quickly reforming.
“You’re ANNOYING me. Just DIE already.” he screamed and shot over a hundred shards of ice at her. Ilea just flew in place with her wings and protected her eyes with her arms as the ice clanged against her armor, piercing through where no armor was. She got the pieces out quickly before they would freeze her body and looked at the fuming elf.
“No shit you’re annoying.” she got another brick and threw it at the elf who dodged it. Blinking in again, she punched just as more ice pierced her skin. The elf was a little deranged she found but certainly not a bad warrior. The best she’d seen so far she found, not counting the Praetorians.
‘I’d like to see Edwin fight this guy...’ her need to touch the man in combat certainly didn’t help her with his ice armor and its ability to sprout spikes immediately. So Ilea summoned a Taleen spear and tried to assault him from a little further away while dodging his ranged attacks.
Sadly though the spear didn’t even manage to scratch the armor and at one point the elf simply grabbed it and shock froze it until it splintered.
“A storage item?? So the hunt was not completely worthless...” the elf said and smiled wide, some spittle forming on his mouth.
“You’re drooling mate.” Ilea said and smiled a little as she dodged another barrage of ice by blinking into a nearby house. ‘How much mana does this guy have...’ she thought and blinked close again to punch the elf. Again her arm was pierced and ice spread through her. This time though Ilea persevered and used her reverse reconstruction to trade damage with the elf.
“What ARE YOU?!” he shouted and shot her away with more spikes of ice. Ilea turned off her pain and used her right fist to smash through her frozen arm before she started to regenerate it.
“What is it? Not used to hunt something that fights back?” she asked and blinked in again, punching more mana into the elf before being pierced again. This time the elf went for her eyes and she barely managed to move her head in the last second before blinking away again.
‘I’m gonna run out soon. Been healing myself nearly constantly...’ Ilea thought as she blinked through the nearby houses, wherever she stood shards of ice would land and freeze even the stone below.
She tried to get away with random blinks but found the elf was always just a second behind her, not enough for her to regenerate significant amounts of mana. The problem was that the elf was regenerating as well and Ilea felt that he was fighting very economical. His attacks were precise and deadly yet not over the top, except that one time he had frozen nearly a full house.
Three lances of ice landed on her chest and sent her flying as she appeared again in one of the streets, she skidded to a halt on the snow below, blood coming to her mouth. “Why do you fight it human...it’s in your nature to DIE!” a hundred shards formed above and rained down on Ilea who summoned a dwarven shield and blocked the attacks. None of them pierced and she made the shield vanish again.
“YOU FLY!!” another volley hit with the same result as before, for some reason infuriating the elf even more so.
“It’s in our nature to fight.” she stated and blinked in again, delivering a kick to his side, cracking the ice before her leg started freezing.
‘ding’ ‘Ice Resistance reaches level 7’
She smiled at the slight help in the fight and ran into another side street. A gust of cold wind came in behind her and a thousand small shards of frozen water pierced her skin. Reconstruction stopped the spreading of the cold and healed the small cuts immediately, her mana was running low though.
‘One thing left to try then...’ she thought and summoned the elven dagger that immediately started to scream.
“AAAAH YOU DARE TO LOCK ME AWAY HUMAN!!!” she dodged some shards of ice and jumped to the elf, stabbing into his shoulder.
“AAAAH!!!” he screamed as she removed the dagger and her arm went numb from the cold. Another frost nova turned the elf’s surroundings into ice as Ilea appeared twenty meters away, flying in the air.
‘Great, now there’s two of them...’ she ignored both the elf’s and elven dagger’s screaming and concentrated on the fight. Ice had already formed around the wound again and the elf only seemed to get angrier. ‘I don’t think I can kill this guy...’ she thought as a golden lance impacted her enemy and slightly cracking his armor. She made the dagger vanish and blinked away before checking where the attack had come from.
She saw nothing until a small flash of light could be seen from a hill several hundred meters away and outside the city. Another lance impacted the elf who looked around irritated. ‘Someone’s helping.’ she thought and quickly started meditating. She would get as much of her mana back as she could as long as the elf was distracted.
He was in the range of her sphere and had found the attacker as well, dodging another lance and sending spears of ice their way. ‘He can shoot that far...’ she thought as the last of her wounds closed and her mana started to rapidly regenerate.
Suddenly Ilea saw someone with an immensely big war hammer fly towards the elf. The monster dodged and the hammer impacted the ground below, sending a shockwave through the vicinity. Even Ilea who stood nearly twenty meters away and on the first floor was a little unsteady on her feet as the wave went through.
More golden lances impacted the elf who crashed into a nearby house. The war hammer man followed. Ilea was back at a third of her power as she saw someone rush past her house and after the elf. The silhouette had two curved daggers and moved faster than Ilea at full speed.
Quickly after both of them jumped out of the house as a nova of frost froze their backs. The fast one screamed and slowly got up while the one with the war hammer stood before her. ‘A woman the rogue...’ Ilea thought as she looked upwards to see mana form and then unleash on the house inside which the elf resided.
The air distorted as the whole house was pushed downwards for over five seconds. Ilea was starstruck as she watched the stone crumble downwards. She jumped out of the window with over half her mana restored and rushed up to the rogue. “I’m friendly.” she said and started healing the woman who relaxed immediately as the mana flowed into her.
“Save some of it for that guy.” the man next to her said as he lifted his hammer and jumped inside the torrent of magic.
“What is he...” Ilea asked as she saw the elf was the only thing still standing in the middle of the ruined house. The stone around him was completely flattened. ‘Gravity...’ As the man jumped in, the magic stopped until his hammer was right above the elf. Activating the magic again, the hammer and all of the man’s strength landed on the elf, cracking his armor as another frost nova exited. It was immediately pushed downwards and only managed to freeze the man’s legs.
The magic from above stopped and the rogue rushed in again as golden lances landed on the elf from another angle than before. Ilea blinked in again and punched the elf four times, sending her mana through him. She saw the rogue punch the daggers through the elf’s armor and back before rushing away again.
Ilea threw the massive man away, useless with his legs frozen and hugged the elf, tanking the next frost nova while pushing reversed Reconstruction into the enemy. Her eyes were frozen as was a big part of her body. The ice cracked as her hands reached around the elf’s head, her unfeeling frozen thumbs were pushed into the creature’s eyes as it screamed.
With her sphere Ilea saw the man had crawled to his war hammer as a bolt of magic impacted the elf’s head right next to her arm. Moving his body the man threw his hammer upwards over the two before gravity was increased and pushed it downwards with incredible speed.
Ilea watched on as the hammer impacted the unarmored skull of the elf, completely obliterating its head and torso with her arms along with it. All three collapsed as the increased gravity stopped and all her mana rushed in to restore her body. More lances of mana impacted the destroyed body of the elf as the rogue advanced, grabbed the daggers and started smashing them into the destroyed enemy’s body while screaming.
‘He’s dead...’ Ilea thought as the information came to her head. Her eyes were restored and she looked at the man who had lost his legs, both of them were smiling.