Chapter 156 Electric boogaloo
Trevor had done exactly as he promised. He had left the building nearly exactly half an hour after their talk had ended and walked towards the northern gate of Riverwatch. Ilea and Kyrian followed above the roofs and soon enough found that they weren’t the only ones. Two people followed Trevor as well but they were following on the ground and in the shadows. Ilea had spotted them through her Sphere and pointed them out for Kyrian.
Following Travor for another ten minutes, the man soon stepped into a house, his followers waiting outside.
“You take the one on the roof, you see him? Over there and behind the chimney.” Ilea explained to Kyrian who nodded and flew upwards in complete silence. Ilea herself focused on the figure leisurely leaning on a wall in a small side street, the house in view.
She appeared in front of the man when she saw Kyrian descend upon his target and quickly jabbed his throat. It was a woman after all, she realized and watched her start to cough and lift her weapons. Ilea quickly grabbed both of the woman’s arms and kicked her knee, hard. The bone broke and ripped through the woman’s trousers, blood smearing on the wall behind her as she started screaming.
The weapons were ripped out of her hands and thrown away by Ilea before she held the woman’s mouth to stop the screaming. “Shut it or you die.” she said and felt the woman punch her side.
“Do that again and I’ll punch you too.” Ilea said and felt the woman go limp as she whimpered at the pain of her broken leg. She grabbed the woman by the neck and rushed to the house. She was followed by Kyrian who had bound both hands and legs of the man he had captured, a metal gag placed right in his mouth as he tried to produce noise.
Trevor was standing upstairs, blade ready as he relaxed at them coming into the room. “Who are those two?” he asked, glancing at the woman’s leg.
“They were following you since you left.” Ilea said and turned around the woman to look at her. “Who are you working for?” she asked before the woman spit on her helmet.
“Why do people do that?” she asked and let the woman drop down. She landed on her leg and started screaming again when a sphere of metal entered her mouth, a metal strap closing behind her head, muffling the noise. She moved on the ground, only intensifying the pain.
Trevor watched the whole thing in silence when Kyrian made the man float before him. “Are you more cooperative than this one?” he asked and waited for the man to look down at the woman who was writhing in pain. He nodded a moment later.
“Good. Who are you working for.” Kyrian asked and removed the sphere from his mouth.
“Melian, she’s told us to follow Trevor and report any weird movements directly to her. Please don’t kill us, we were recrui…,” he was muffled as the metal sphere went into his mouth again.
“Well that was a given. Good thing you didn’t try to meet me more openly. I’ve seen those two before. From the West I think.” Trevor said.
“We’ll leave them here then, let them live if you can.” Ilea said and turned the woman around on the ground to look at her. Lifting her helmet up a little, she spat in her face. “You need the power to back it up.” Ilea said and smiled. The woman scoffed but calmed down a little, looking at the man lying next to her.
“Anybody got some rope?” Ilea asked.
“Here we are. At least that’s where it should be…,” Trevor said as they looked out from the woods towards a lonesome farm east of Riverwatch. Barely an hour’s flight from the city. A big campfire was burning in the middle of the land. At least thirty people could be spotted from their position, most of them dancing, fighting or drinking. Only a few single ones looked like they were actually guarding the place.
“There’s no cover around here.” Ilea said.
“I agree, it’s gonna be difficult to approach.” Kyrian said. “From above maybe.” he added and Trevor looked at them sceptically.
“Yea, that’s the best bet. The fire is a little annoying. I’ll get in and check it out. Join me when it looks like there’s no other way. Trevor, you stay here.” Ilea said and the man nodded, rather happy that he wouldn’t have to walk into that camp.
Ilea moved back into the forest, deeply enough to be sure nobody without incredibly keen eyes would spot her flying upwards. She rushed into the clouds above, the dark night helping her tremendously in this endeavor. Flying right above the farm, she looked for all the guards. She could tell with her enhanced senses that not a single one of them was looking upwards. Neither did any of the people fighting or dancing. A moment later she dropped down and increased her speed to the maximum.
Next to the main building there were two barns, one of them open and with people coming and going. The other one was her target as she blinked right before entering, both stopping her momentum as much as possible and appearing inside the barn with as little noise as she could produce.
She activated the third tier of State of Azarinth to enhance her cognitive abilities just a little more and took in everything the twenty four meter radius of her Azarinth Hunter Sphere let her perceive. Nearly all her senses were enhanced and the first thing she noticed was, as was rather often the case, the smell.
This barn was used to keep the prisoners it seemed, more likely the slaves these people had captured. Ilea checked to make sure and blinked downwards, sacrificing fifty health to give her a little push as she punched into a man’s back, closing her hand and ripping out his still beating heart before she threw it away. Moving on to his body, she grabbed his neck and pulled him backwards, away from the bound and crying woman in front of him.
He looked at her with a confused look on his face as she jabbed his throat, destroying the organ before she kneed his genitals. He chocked and teared up as he bled out and died on the ground a few moments later. Some people in the barn looked at her. He wasn’t the only corpse inside.
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Soul of the Ax lvl 83 – Berserker lvl 79]’
She checked the woman in front of her and healed what she could before she ripped away the rope that bound her. “I’m sorry.” she said and carried the woman towards a group of people huddling together in a corner of the barn, all bound in various ways, looking towards her with differing expressions. “Stay fucking quiet.” Ilea said as she brought the woman to them. Two of them nodded towards Ilea and took the still crying woman. They didn’t have blankets or anything else to cover her. Filth, shit and piss were on the ground around them. Ilea quietly walked through all of it and checked each and every one of them quickly, especially the people lying on the ground. She had to stabilize three of them though it was food and water they were lacking the most.
She summoned crates of it on the other end of the barn before she removed all the ropes in silence. Many of them had burns, scars and other fresh wounds, some more serious than others.
“Tha…,” a young boy started before a man put his hand over his mouth and looked at Ilea apologetically.
“Thank me later, if you survive this. Now go get some food and stay fucking quiet.” she said as she walked to the front of the barn, followed by a bunch of uncertain people of differing ages, levels and genders.
“Was this all that lightning mage, Melian?” she asked two of the older people who seemed to be somewhat alright. Both nodded in response, fury in their eyes.
“Be careful…,” the man said in a somewhat fearful tone.
“Where is she now?” Ilea asked.
“We don’t know…,’ he answered and Ilea nodded before she summoned a bunch of the remaining Taleen weapons she had kept with her, throwing them onto the hay on the ground. “Arm yourselves, the ones capable at least. Don’t come out if you don’t have to.” she said and changed her armor to the leather kind. She checked the man she had killed and found no indication of a faction, hopefully the drunk people wouldn’t realize she wasn’t one of them. Her armor looked similar enough. The standard leather kind. Luckily hers wasn’t exactly in the newest state either.
Ilea checked the surroundings of the barn, summoned a bottle of mead she opened and poured on the ground before she moved the barn gate a little to slip out. It was dark outside, despite the massive fire. She pretended to take a sip of her mead a couple times as she casually walked towards the main building, taking in the scenes around her, the positions of all the people and the weaponry and levels of everyone present.
She hoped nobody would identify her and get confused at the question marks. Perhaps they would mistake her for a newcomer. Nobody rang an alarm in the time of her walk to the main building. The second barn held a couple tables, bedrolls, more people and chests. Outside were wagons filled with stuff, animals bound to posts, some of them dead already. Whatever this camp was, it was not sustainable. Ilea watched as two men fought each other while everyone else cheered on.
She watched until one of them was beaten to death. Right at the cheers, she blinked into the main building, the farmer’s house. The attic was devoid of people and she stood quietly, checking in her Sphere and with her ears to see if anybody reacted to her sudden disappearance. Nobody did. One good thing about this situation was that the time of their attack was ideal.
Ilea switched her attention to the ground floor of the house she was in. A fire was burning in the fireplace, the stairs leading to the attic were closed off behind a door. A lot of the furniture had been destroyed, singed it seemed. In the middle of the living room was a massive bed. There were no people present on the ground floor. There were however people in the basement.
A woman specifically, presumably her target. She was dressed rather flamboyant and she was quite obviously in the process of skinning an old man. Behind her stood a mage, likely the reason the screams didn’t reach outside the cellar.
Ilea focused inwards when she realized that she knew the man. Breathing out calmly, she opened her eyes. Her skills came to life as she sacrificed two hundred points of health. Ice in her eyes and ember in her body, she blinked next to the woman and punched her head with all the power she had. Her fist reached the target, a beautiful young woman with brown hair and a twisted smile on her face. The impact released a shock wave of lightning that sent the mage backwards a meter and stunned Ilea for a split second.
The woman smashed into the wall from Ilea’s punch but vanished right after. Ilea looked to the mage who was confused before she reached him and slammed her fist into his face, knocking him out or killing him, she wasn’t quite sure as she blinked to the man who had endured the shock wave as well. He was close to death and she poured healing mana into him. She had forgotten his name but it was the same old man that had let her use his carriage so long ago when she came to Riverwatch for the second time.
She healed him until he was stable and then some before she ripped off the chains that bound him. Carefully she moved him to the ground and touched his head. Maybe he would survive. It did not matter. What mattered was that She died.
Ilea blinked upwards and into the middle of the yard. People stared at her and the lightning woman in a confused manner, some prepared to fight while others were still dancing or drinking. The punch definitely left a mark as the woman’s chin didn’t look quite alright.
[Mage – lvl 210]
Ilea smiled as she switched her armor to the rugged black Juggernaut one.
“Who are you?” the woman asked as more and more people focused on the two of them, confused to see their boss in the middle of the yard. “Tell me and ma…,” she didn’t get any further when Ilea appeared in front of her, ready to deliver another punch but the woman vanished. Ilea looked around, concentrating as she remembered the bouts against Trian. This one wasn’t any different and she could beat him too.
The woman appeared and Ilea followed, a punch finding only air as they appeared and disappeared around the field. The shouts and confusion increased in the meantime, people preparing their weapons and spells but none of them could follow the two teleporting mages.
Melian the lightning mage appeared next to one of her subordinates and used the man as a shield against the appearing Ilea, her punch destroying the man’s unprotected chest as the bones broke and shot inwards, piercing his organs and killing him nearly instantly.
“You will die.” Melian said as she unleashed lightning towards Ilea. She didn’t dodge but advanced through the element, her Veil blocking the first blasts before she reached the woman who promptly disappeared again, hiding behind her men. “Attack her! She’s an enemy to our cause!”
Ilea watched as the people around Melian looked on confused and frightened towards the bloodied warrior before them.
“Everyone who attacks me dies.” Ilea said as she advanced, dodging a lightning blast directed at her with a sidestep. An arrow was fired at her which she caught before she appeared in front of the ranger, catching his arm before she broke it with a swift movement, breaking his neck right after. She flung the corpse into the fire and locked eyes with Melian.
Most of the people in the yard were below level one hundred, seeing their likely terrifying boss hide against the warrior who just easily killed one of theirs was more than a little intimidating.
“Kill her!” the mage shouted and sent another stream of lightning Ilea’s way. This time Ilea used the people around the mage to her advantage as she appeared in the crowd, getting closer to the mage with every blast of lightning that shredded through one of her own.
“Kill her!” Melian kept shouting as Ilea got closer and closer with each blink. Finally after five consecutive teleports, she managed to grab on and clenched her teeth at the current of lightning flowing through her. Ilea answered in kind as her reversed healing flowed into the woman. She pressed down on the mage’s arm and broke through the magical shield of lightning, releasing another nova that in turn broke through her Veil of Ash, unleashing the full power of the lightning current flowing through her.
Melian slipped away and teleported as Ilea healed herself and built up her Veil again, following the mage a moment later. She held her broken and mangled arm, the bones had not just been broken, Ilea had crushed them.
“You will die for…,” Melian screamed and vanished when Ilea reached her again.
She ground her teeth when she saw where the mage was going. She had a higher reach with her teleportation than Ilea’s blink and reached the barn a moment earlier. When Ilea appeared inside, Melian was holding a naked woman by the neck.
“I’ll kill her! Leave!” Melian shouted, tears streaming down her pain stricken face as her arm twitched occasionally, blood dripping down where the pieces of bone had pushed through her skin. A little bit of lightning flowed around her again, the defensive shield incredibly efficient.
Ilea nodded and held up her arms. She was standing in the barn and all the naked people distanced themselves as far as they could from Melian who was still holding onto the woman. The woman had fury in her eyes and Ilea saw that she had dropped a dwarven weapon she had been holding previously.
She locked eyes with the woman and they both understood. Turning around, Ilea prepared to leave when Melian moved her broken arm to send lightning towards Ilea who disappeared and appeared right behind Melian. She felt lightning discharge into the woman held by the mage and steeled herself as she grabbed her around the chest from behind. Her wings spread as she pushed herself and the mage backwards out of the barn.
The two tumbled on the ground as lightning flowed into Ilea. Her Veil was broken as she sacrificed health to activate the third tier of State of Azarinth. All her skills worked overtime as she pressed her arms together with all the strength she had. Sparks of Lightning burned the field around the two, Ilea’s armor lighting up when she broke through the magical barrier. More health was sacrificed as she felt the woman’s armor give in. More and more she pushed as her own healing mana repaired the constant damage of the electrical current.
The woman struggled until all the air had left her chest. She started hyperventilating and punched at Ilea’s hands and her body with her arms, still releasing lightning strikes directly into her adversary. But Ilea’s grip was relentless, her strength overwhelming. The woman’s throws became weaker and weaker until even her lightning strikes didn’t hit the target right behind her anymore. Her armor was pushed inwards, her ribs breaking one after the other, piercing and grinding through her organs.
Ilea kept on pressing long after the electric current had stopped, long after the woman had stopped moving altogether. Blood came out of her mouth and was soon joined by the smell of shit and piss. Not a pretty death to be sure. Ilea let go a minute later, making sure she had gotten the relevant notifications. Her healing had already gotten her up to eighty percent of her health again. She had never dipped below sixty. The result of this fight was clear from the first lightning bolt that hit her.
Melian wasn’t a vampyr like Trian. In a battle of attrition Ilea doubted even Trian would win against her, let alone this psycho mage. She let go of the corpse and stood up, making her helmet vanish before she spit blood on the ground. Ilea looked at the woman before she stomped onto her head. Three times until the bone broke and the head caved in. She lifted her armored boot from the bloody mess before she looked up.
Kyrian was floating above the group of thieves, murderers and rapists. She could hear him talk and grabbed a leg of Melian, dragging the corpse towards the group as some of them watched on, horror in their eyes.