Chapter 112 Another one of them missions
“We got one?? Oh that makes me so happy!” Eve said, punching the air before her. Claire just blinked at the woman before she looked around the group.
“I took it but trust me this isn’t going to be as simple as the ones before...” Claire had reported the successful missions and their team was rewarded with a bigger choice for the next ones. One of them had been listed as level three.
The mission took them southwards, deep into the Isanna desert. Ilea had underestimated just how huge it would be. The team had covered easily twice the distance between Karth and Ravenhall in the time they had been flying. It being winter, the heat wasn’t too bad but it was most of all boring. No life seemed to be filling the dunes and they were supposed to find some sort of elusive critter in all of that.
...the Dragcal burrows deep into the desert ground, healing its wounds while its magic rages above. Its level is unknown…
The entries in any of her monster books had been more than useless. Not as useless as the skull and ore they had found on their missions. There were apparently possible uses for equipment for Eve and Kyrian but that would show in time. For now they were on the hunt, looking out for isolated mountains in the desert sand.
“That one maybe?” Claire asked, pointing towards another mountain. They had already checked four different ones in their journey and Ilea was beginning to wonder how big this desert really was.
“Let’s check then...” she said and landed the three of them, using her Sphere to check below the rock and sand. ‘Oh what is...’
“Hey does it look like a spearfish with scales?” she asked, pointing to a specific direction “I think it’s sleeping whatever it is.”
“No idea but let’s find out what it is...” Trian said and unleashed lightning on the designated position.
“Yea that’s not gonna work mate.” Ilea commented as Kyrian’s spheres of metal flew over the sand, forming into drill like spikes and going below.
“It’s probably gonna feel the vibrations. Let’s hope it’s not gonna run away for days on end...” Eve commented, already tired of the hunt. The woman had been kept somewhat happy thanks to the storage devices owned by Trian and Ilea. She was much more keen on using Ilea’s compared to the man’s which resulted in a select amount of food, clothes and drinks that were readily available for her at all times and without the annoyance of carrying them herself.
A sudden and massive shift in the sand where Kyrian’s spikes had entered made the team concentrate. “Here it comes...” Ilea said, seeing the thing come fully into her vision. “Wow it’s fucking huge!” she exclaimed and laughed as the massive spear fish burst out of the sand. Her smile vanished as the sand followed behind. A localized storm followed and pushed against their armor and defenses. Eve and Kyrian had joined Claire behind her shield while the others stood against the sand.
“I can’t see it!” Kyrian shouted, the metal spheres and spikes looking for a target.
“Oh shit.” a blink later Ilea stood before the runic barrier held up by Claire and stared into the eyes of the beast.
[Dragcal – lvl ??]
The nearly seven meter long sword part of its body moved towards Ilea at a rapid pace, its massive and heavy body carried by a wave of sand more akin to water as the storm continued around them. Ilea wasn’t quite sure how much power was coming onto her but she dodged the sword to the right and punched the quickly over a meter thick bone with all her strength. Slightly brought off course, the spear like part of the monster’s body crashed into Claire’s shield, breaking through after sparks formed from the impact.
Lightning roared above as red flashes of energy could be seen in the mist of sand around them. Kyrian’s blades and spikes tried to pierce the strong scales of the monster from all sides and Ilea helped by punching some of them into the creature’s side. Explosions rattled around its head to confuse and daze it as Eve jumped towards its eyes, her daggers dull metal blades in the darkened surroundings.
It roared out as a dozen wounds were caused in but a couple seconds, a massive wave of sand hitting all but Trian from the side. Only the base of the small mountain saved the group as they would’ve been completely without cover in the sea of sand around them. Both Trian and Ilea grabbed either Claire or Eve out of the sand and got them higher.
The sand storm raged on and compared to the breeze it was before, this time it was pushing against Ilea’s veil with more and more power. Another one of Claire’s shields formed, covering the group in the shimmering dome of energy. “How long will that hold?” Eve asked, brushing the sand from her armor.
“We’re fine against the storm but that thing is too big and heavy for me to block...” Claire said.
“Surprising speed as well, we’re in its territory. Ilea what’s it doing now?” Trian asked as he lifted his helmet to get rid of the sand inside.
“It’s waiting… healing probably. You got its eye Eve?” the rogue nodded and Ilea was sure then. “Well you didn’t anymore. Brace.” she said as the massive fish shot up from its recovering position to his the dome of magic. Right before impact the team scattered as another massive wave of sand hit them.
A series of attacks made the beast roar out and roll in the sand to shake of the attackers. Both Eve and Ilea managed to dodge the frantic movement but were pushed away dozens of meters. Again the beast went downwards to heal.
“How’s your curse doing?” Ilea shouted to a flying Kyrian, Claire holding onto his back.
“It’s spreading! Only a matter of time but it’s huuuge!” the man shouted back just when the Dragcal came out below Ilea, aiming to pierce or simply crush her. The veil broke as she was dragged next to the beast, deciding not to blink away and inflict some more damage instead. She held on between the scales as her destructive mana flowed into the monster, her ashen wings and veil trying to inflict more wounds. Explosions and lighting roared around her and nearly managed to damage her ears combined with the roaring storm of sand. ‘Oh shit let go...’ she thought as the beast landed back into the sand.
Ilea blinked upwards twice but still found herself caught in a wave of sand dragging her downwards. Suddenly she was covered, panicking for a second before she blinked out of her predicament thanks to her Spherical perception. ‘Fuck I don’t wanna be buried...’ the thought was interrupted when the Dragcal exited again, this time aiming for Eve who dodged to the side, caught by the wave of sand following the monster’s dive.
Trian was quicker and managed to grab the tumbling woman out of the torrent. The whole team was airborne now, except for Ilea. She stayed down, rather sure that the fish would just leave if there weren’t anymore targets. “Any success with the mind attacks!?” Claire shouted towards Eve who was now on Trian’s back, to the annoyance of both of them.
“It’s very simple but strong!! Going to take longer than that!” she shouted back and continued humming as soon as the beast was back out and aiming for Ilea. Contrary to its previous tries, this time there were two waves of sand, one on each side of Ilea. Too big to simply circumvent with blinks, she stared down the monster and met it with a last blink to dodge the bone and a kick to its massive skull. Combined with the curse, mind attacks, lightning and explosions the beast was rattled from all sides and it was slowing down despite its wounds slowly closing.
‘Slower than before...’ Ilea thought, seeing the scales regenerate around her. She managed to blink away again, this time prepared for the mass of sand that landed around her. Truly a terrifying force of nature. No wonder not more was known about the beast, likely sighted only when it tore through parties of travelers or from high above while attacking other monsters.
The curse and mind spells from Trian and Eve were the only reason the team even decided to come out here and face a monster like that. With its ability to regenerate and flee it was on par with having Ilea as an enemy, the annoyance and elusiveness that is. She wasn’t quite on the same level of ash control as the beast’s sand magic of course, let alone the sheer size of it.
Again she waited for the next attack but only the sandstorm continued. She saw below that the fish was slowing down, not going for her anymore, but away. “It’s fleeing I think. Kyrian can you track it?”
“Yea, there’s plenty of metal still in it. Follow me!” he shouted back and Ilea’s wings spread to keep up with the other’s pace, running on sand wasn’t quite as effective a movement. Three hours later the monster finally stopped, likely healed back to full health again but completely riddled with the curse. The reason why Kyrian’s ability was so strong and let him advance to the two hundreds as quickly as it had.
“It’s down here, right below us. I doubt there is much energy left in it, nor mana.” Kyrian said as he pointed to the sand below them which looked just like all the other space around them.
“Well how are we going to get down there?” Ilea looked around the group and didn’t quite find someone willing to shovel. Claire instead opened up her pack and dropped a bunch of runed stones down. As soon as they hit the sand, the explosions started.
“It’s not super effective but it’ll get the job done.” she commented over the sound below. Most of the stones survived three or four separate casts of the spell and Claire continued to make more as she held on to her team mate.
“We’re getting closer, only a couple meters now...” Ilea said, as she went lower to see the beast with her Sphere. It wasn’t moving at all and its eyes were closed. ‘Not dead yet though...’ she thought and saw the big thing’s heartbeat drum below the sand, working hard to get rid of the curse. Another series of explosions set its back free and hell followed with it. More cursed shards and spikes, lightning and explosions blasted into the monster’s back while Eve continued her humming, the spell seemingly unfazed by the loud sounds going on around them.
The Dragcal tried to move and did so slowly but it was too big to simply get away so easily. Its wounds weren’t closing anymore and no more spells were cast as it slowly dug into the sand. ‘Fuck we’re not gonna be able to get it out like this...’ Ilea thought and flew downwards into the explosions still raining down. She grabbed onto one of the monster’s fins and flew backwards with all her power while she released destructive mana into it. Her veil and created ash cut into the beast as her team’s spells damaged its now severely wounded back.
It was strong and large, Ilea fighting with all her power to keep her team from a sand excavation that might very well be impossible. Her wings were already touching sand when the pull from the beast got weaker and weaker until finally it stopped moving. Ilea didn’t let up and continued to try and get the massive body out of the sand that was slowly closing up behind them. Ten metal spikes rammed into the beast right then and the weight Ilea had to carry lessened considerably, the metal controlled by Kyrian helping to push the body out of the sand.
Wind runes from Claire, however weak, helped push away the sand that was trying hard to close in their tank from behind. Another hand soon followed as Trian grabbed the fin next to Ilea and pulled as well. The last missing thing was Eve cheering them on but the woman didn’t go that far, instead just waiting in the sand until the more strength oriented people managed the job.
“Now that is one hell of a fucking beast.” Kyrian chuckled at Ilea’s comment as he scratched his head, the helmet stored away in his enchantment. Ilea had done the same, as did Trian.
“Now how do we transport that thing?” Eve asked.
“We don’t, at least not like this. No Ilea, don’t look at me like that, we’re not dragging that thing back to Ravenhall. Might even attract attention we don’t want and I’m not talking about people.” Claire commented, rubbing her temples at Ilea’s stupid grin. “The mission states that they need whatever parts we can harvest of the beast so that’s what we’ll do, Eve how good are you at carving?”
“Very.” the woman said and spun one of her daggers around.
“Good, then get to work. Ilea and Trian will store everything.” Claire said, getting a mock salute from Eve before she started to carve into the beast while humming happily.
“Speaking of storage, how’s your ring looking?” Ilea asked after walking over to Trian. “I’d be interested in some of the books we found in that ruin and if you’re running out and don’t want them I still have space.”
Trian looked at her and then summoned one of the books. “Legends and theories, I hope you won’t get sucked into whatever that mage was hatching but sure, knock yourself out. None of it is of consequence to me. Why so interested?”
Ilea had prepared some excuses should she be asked anything regarding Cless or the mage, she even managed to rehearse them with Aki, very helpful that dagger and definitely a critic.
“There was something about that girl. Let’s say she made me curious, as did that mage Albert. Maybe I’ll ask Dagon about him.” she answered, telling the truth but far from answering the question, the only way Aki said she would sound convincing.
Trian snorted “Don’t ask for information too dangerous to handle, especially not from that sly bastard.”
“We’re a shadow squad, what could possibly be too dangerous? You don’t like the guy?” she asked, very interested in the first question at least.
“Yes, that we are. And I’m sure the Hand is one of if not the most powerful human organization when it comes to individuals but don’t for a moment believe that it’s the only one out there. Furthermore who will come for your aid when you need it, sure as hell not me. The Hand will have lost a member and that’s it, not like the same would apply to a brotherhood or whatever weird fuckery the nobles and powerful call their little circles.” he said.
“Maybe Circle.” Kyrian commented, playing with some metal spheres while carving sounds resounded behind them. Eve was currently getting out an eye.
“And no, I don’t like the guy. He’s an information broker, what’s to like about that? And his people have been pestering me since I arrived, in heat for a noble in the Hand. Fucking annoying that my parents...” he stopped himself and shut up, summoning an apple and biting into it.
“Ilea catch!” the eye was thrown and caught, splattering blood and a bit of gore onto Ilea’s face before it vanished into her necklace.
“Hahahaha” they could hear Eve laugh. Trian summoned a piece of cloth and threw it to Ilea, a surprising gesture, especially right after he said that he wouldn’t come to help her in case of emergency. Then again it’s a piece of cloth, not his life.
“Thanks.” Ilea said, using it to clean herself up. “Eve you better stop that shit, I’ll break every bone in your body and heal it again.” she said casually as she made the piece of cloth vanish.
“I don’t believe you, you’re way too nice for that Ilea.” came from somewhere inside the beast where Eve was cutting through merrily, likely covered in filth herself.
‘She’s probably right...’ Ilea thought and sighed before she too summoned a meal and started eating. Keyla’s cooking immediately upped her mood. ‘Maybe I should bring her some of the meat to make something...’ with the thought, she finished her meal and unsheathed Aki, blinking behind Eve.
“WHAT, damn you scared the shit out of me, don’t just appear like that.” Eve exclaimed, the look on her face bringing great joy to Ilea, even though she was wearing her mask.
“I’m here for meat.” she said, spinning the dagger around as well. Eve quickly showed her which parts she could cut out without damaging anything worthwhile. It took a while but Ilea got away with a sizable amount of Dragcal meat, ready to be processed.
“So that’s it then?” Claire asked, looking at the pile of body parts Eve had carved from the monster. Most of it was small enough to be stored in either Trian’s ring or Ilea’s necklace, some select parts weren’t. Luckily for them Kyrian’s metal shaping and control made it somewhat easy to carry the massive bones from the creature although the group had to pause much more frequently and the flying speed was reduced by a big chunk of speed.
Checking her messages, Ilea found a single level up waiting for her.
‘ding’ ‘Your group has defeated [Dragcal – lvl 310]. For defeating an enemy one hundred levels or more above your own, bonus experience is granted.’
‘ding’ ‘Azarinth First Hunter has reached lvl 206 – 5 Stat points awarded’
‘ding’ ‘Azarinth Reversal reaches 2nd lvl 3’
‘ding’ ‘Hunter’s Sight reaches lvl 19’
‘ding’ ‘Eyes of Ash reaches 2nd lvl 13’
Name: Ilea Spears
Unspent statpoints: 5
Unspent 3rd tier skill points [Azarinth First Hunter]: 0
Unspent 3rd tier skill points [Inheritor of Eternal Ash]: 1
Class 1: Azarinth First Hunter – lvl 206
- Active: Destruction – 2nd lvl 20
- Active: Hunter Recovery – 2nd lvl 20
- Active: State of Azarinth – 2nd lvl 20
- Active: Blink – 3rd lvl 2
- Active: Azarinth Hunter Sphere – 2nd lvl 20
- Passive: Body of the First Hunter – 2nd lvl 16
- Passive: Azarinth Fighting – 2nd lvl 20
- Passive: Hunter’s Sight – lvl 19
- Passive: Azarinth Perception – 2nd lvl 16
- Passive: Azarinth Reversal – lvl 2nd lvl 3
Class 2: Inheritor of Eternal Ash – lvl 202
- Active: Veil of Ash – 2nd lvl 10
- Active: Form of Ash and Ember – 2nd lvl 14
- Active: Ash Creation – lvl 2nd lvl 5
- Active: Embered Body Heat – lvl 12
- Active: Wave of Ember – 2nd lvl 3
- Passive: Ash and Ember Manipulation – 2nd lvl 9
- Passive: Ashen Wings – 2nd lvl 4
- Passive: Eyes of Ash – 2nd lvl 13
- Passive: Body of Ash – 2nd lvl 12
- Passive: Ashen Warrior – 2nd lvl 5
- Elos Standard language - lvl 5
- Identify - lvl 7
- Meditation – lvl 2nd 15
- Poison Resistance – lvl 17
- Heat Resistance – lvl 19
- Pain Tolerance – 2nd lvl 4
- Mental Resistance – 2nd lvl 10
- Fear Resistance – lvl 1
- Water Resistance – lvl 6
- Wind Resistance – lvl 7
- Lightning Resistance – 2nd lvl 5
- Ice Resistance – lvl 7
- Crystal Resistance – lvl 6
- Earth Magic Resistance – lvl 5
- Arcane Magic Resistance – lvl 6
- Corrosion Resistance – lvl 8
- Light Magic Resistance – lvl 2
- Mist Magic Resistance – lvl 1
- Curse Resistance – 2nd lvl 2
- Mana Drain Resistance – lvl 18
- Health Drain Resistance – lvl 16
- Blast Resistance – lvl 12
- Dark Magic Resistance – lvl 1