Chapter 186 Night Attack
They didn’t have to wait long for some of the attackers to focus their spells on the small fortress standing alone surrounded by gardens. Shields flared up from time to time to block incomings spells and Ilea knew exactly where they were coming from.
“I think it’s time.” she said as the first enemy mages and warriors actually landed on the roof, engaging the Birmingales in close combat.
“It is.” Trian said right before an armored warrior broke through their tower’s roof and swung his two handed sword at them.
[Warrior – lvl 130]
Ilea quickly identified the man as she ducked under the slow and powerful swing, quickly advancing and kneeing him hard in his armored crotch. The metal didn’t help much against Ilea’s powerful attack that dented his defense inwards. The man howled in pain as she grabbed his helmet and ripped it off to reveal a middle aged man with a patchy beard.
“Who are you people?” she asked simply but he was too occupied with the lack of children in his future to answer, making her let go of him.
“It’s Baralia. They’re not even hiding it anymore.” Trian said, tapping the crest on the man’s shoulder. A spike of metal smashed into the soldier’s head, blood spraying on Ilea’s armor as she looked away from the gruesome sight.
“Fucking warn me before you do that.” she said to Kyrian who shrugged in response.
“We don’t have time, sorry.” he said and looking outside, Ilea knew that to be true. More and more soldiers were coming towards the fortress. Both from the sky and land. They must’ve already breached the closest gate.
“Focus on the targets.” Trian said as he vanished. Ilea quickly checked and found the wood mage, blinking next to him as he was engaged with three soldiers. A hard punch sent him flying into the fortress wall but Ilea didn’t see any blood. He had managed to block her.
Creating ash around herself, she spread it outwards to create additional chaos and confusion. Her companions could just attack from further away.
A sudden stab sent pain through her, her right leg buckling downwards. She grabbed at the blade but it was gone already, a weird presence visible in her Sphere. Not only the enemy had gotten distracted by all the people and spells around them it seemed.
‘ding’ ‘You have been poisoned by Nocturnal Bite -35 HP/s for two minutes. A curse of Fatigue has been placed on you for ten minutes.’
‘Poison, again…,’ Ilea thought as she focused on the weird blur in her sphere as her Healing took over. Her severed leg was nearly back together when the blur advanced again and forced her to blink away, into an empty room downstairs. She heard people advancing up the nearby stairwell and the fighting on the roof but focused on getting her leg fixed which didn’t take long.
Spreading ash in the room, a moment later the blur appeared again, a near invisible blade slashing towards her. Ilea jabbed the blade upwards and moved to the right to avoid it hitting her helmet. Her enemy vanished before she could land a blow but Ilea knew the person was still in the room.
“You’re the one from two days ago aren’t you… the invisible girl.” Ilea said, a small grin spreading on her lips.
“Don’t call me girl. You’re not old either.” a female voice replied.
Ilea advanced on her, dodging the blade as she watched the woman dodge and weave through her attacks.
“You seem to be having difficulties in the ash.” Ilea stated as she created seven spiked projectiles, sending them towards her at the same time. One of them hit but apparently didn’t deal much damage.
Blinking next to the woman, Ilea got a little more aggressive, leaving herself a little more open to deliver her attacks. Her assumption was right and she landed two quick blows on the woman’s armor, sending destructive mana into her. It could’ve been a facade but from the way she had previously attacked Ilea and from what she had said, she didn’t think her enemy was the deceptive kind. One never knew though. She really did have difficulties in the ash.
The woman vanishing again, Ilea followed her upwards into another empty and dark room. To her surprise, she could see the woman now. Clad in black armor but much lighter than her own. Her blade was curved and reminded Ilea of a Japanese sword. ‘A Hanzo? I should be careful…,’ she thought.
[Rogue – lvl 241]
“Why do you attack our family?” the woman asked, her blade still pointed towards Ilea who was still counter healing the poison.
“The empire is under attack, are you paid by the enemy?” she accused Ilea.
“No, your family killed my friend’s family. That’s why I’m here.” Ilea explained. The blade wavered a little and the woman’s eyes opened a bit more.
“Which family? And who planned this? I wasn’t involved and I always talked out against such tactics.” the woman said.
“A family. Your parents and brother if you’re a Birmingale yourself. Being an assassin I doubt you weren’t involved.” Ilea said before she rushed at her, the blade flickering as she tried to get closer, driving away the blade with her armor as it scratched past her, making the woman dodge again and separate from Ilea.
“I kill and fight but for my own reasons. If what you say is true then your cause is just but I won’t stand by while my family gets slaughtered. You killed my parents and for that you must die. No ash and no illusions. Just you and me.” the woman said and Ilea nodded. If it got close, she would escape but Ilea was quite sure her adversary would do the same.
“It’s your choice. If you stand in our way then so be it. And if you want revenge then I understand.” Ilea said and breathed in, focusing on all her skills before she rushed forward. The woman’s blade flickered and Ilea blocked with her armor, deflecting the blade in the last moments and ensuring no injuries.
There was some destructive mana flowing into her from where the blade touched but nothing substantial and she continued her assault, pushing the woman back in the small room. Teleporting around, her enemy managed to avoid any damage from her first assault but in a prolonged fight, Ilea was sure of her own capabilities.
Rushing forward, Ilea suddenly found her muscles tensing up and locking down as the woman’s blade rushed towards her head, the blade stopped by her helmet right after it pierced through her eye with its pointy end. The pain was negligible and her vision wasn’t the only way with which Ilea saw the world. The blade rushed at her other eye immediately but her healing magic rushed through her body, making her muscles move again.
At the last moment, Ilea moved her head to the right, the blade scraping against the metal unable to inflict serious damage before Ilea attacked, her eye healing whilst her punches were blocked by defensive swings. The move had surprised the woman, likely expecting more of a reaction from her injured prey as Ilea anticipated and followed the next teleport and grabbed her enemy by the wrist of her sword hand, pressing down hard while her other arm moved to punch her stomach.
The light looking armor didn’t relent immediately but was bent more and more while destructive mana flowed into her enemy, her punch pushing out all the air from the woman’s lungs. Holding out her hand, the woman held a small ball that suddenly exploded towards Ilea, sending hundreds of small projectiles her way, some of them smashing into her healing and good eye as she stumbled backwards from the force, letting go just a little of the woman’s arm who used the opportunity to struggle free of her opponent’s grasp.
Ilea’s eyes were ruined and she had metal pieces inside them, continuously poisoning her but her foe wasn’t done, sending another two of the blasts her way, Ilea covering her eyes with her arms as she aligned her body in a way that the armor would take most of the shrapnel. Blood flowed down her eyes as she watched her enemy switch her sword to the other hand, her right one clearly injured, the armor dented inwards. Blood flowed down her neck as well, Ilea saw as she watched the woman advance.
Cautiously, she aligned her sword to stab Ilea’s shoulder right between the connecting pieces of armor and Ilea helped her a little by not defending against it. The blade flashed and stabbed into her shoulder cleanly, spreading a numbing feeling into Ilea’s flesh but not before she grabbed the blade with one hand and her enemy’s arm with the other. With a blade stuck in her shoulder, Ilea swung the woman up through the air and into the nearby stone wall, breaking through the rock with all her strength as she screamed.
Holding on to the injured woman, against she squeezed as hard as she could, ripping out the blade with her other hand and throwing it towards the window. It clattered on the ground as Ilea placed her leg on the woman’s chest, pulling on her arm with both hands as she activated the third stage of her State of Azarinth, sacrificing a couple hundred health to give her a short push in power. Blood sprayed on her armor and the ground as the woman screamed, her arm separated from her shoulder as Ilea prepared to stomp down, finding herself paralyzed once again for a moment, watching the woman crawl away towards the dropped sword.
Whimpers of pain could be heard as Ilea flowed her healing spell through her, focusing first on her own shoulder and ignoring her eyes for now. Her Sphere was enough and if the woman didn’t have a way to disturb it, it was quite adequate at seeing in a fight. The paralyzing effect lessened and Ilea found herself able to move again, appearing right when the woman had reached the blade and grasped it with her broken right arm.
Stepping on the hand, she broke some fingers too, kicking away the blade again and grabbing the woman from the ground, wrapping her arms around her neck from behind. Ilea squeezed hard and didn’t stop through her enemy’s struggling until she heard a crack, the woman’s body going limp. Still she didn’t stop and continued sending mana into her to make sure she was dead. Even through the message in her mind she continued for at least another minute.
“I’m sorry.” she said at last, a part of her disgusted at her own actions, another part indifferent. This is what revenge was and as much as she believed the woman to be uninvolved in Trian’s trauma she had to die, it was either her or Ilea and she was not going to die today. Again her healing had been the deciding factor, that and her ability to see without eyes, to feel no pain from injuries that would incapacitate most others and to have armor capable of stopping blades. Closing the woman’s eyes after laying her down, Ilea grabbed the blade and stored it in her necklace, summoning a taleen sword instead.
Her healing combined with some hard poking removed the metal fragments from her eye sockets and beyond. Breathing out, Ilea sat down next to the corpse, leaning on the wall as she let her healing flow through her, eyes recovering as her Meditation skill helped keep the mana cost low. She had lost quite a bit of health in the fight, despite her best efforts to heal herself continuously. Letting herself get stabbed might not be advisable for the future, seeing that the paralyzing effects could’ve just as well been something like Edwin’s blood magic ruptures. Those would’ve been a little more problematic.
‘ding’ ‘You have killed [Blade of Whispers lvl 241 / Claw of Rot lvl 221]. For killing an enemy fifteen or more levels above your own you receive bonus experience.’
Ilea chuckled in the room as she looked at the corpse’s face. “Funny world eh? I murder you and even get bonus experience.” she said in a bitter tone as she got up again. Ilea had a lifetime to think about her actions tonight but only right now to do something. To help her friends not to die and to help them succeed in their mission. Blinking upwards, she found the scene on top of the building pure chaos. Spells rushed through the air and blades flashed through the air before they severed heads or pierced bodies.
She quickly found her opponent, the older man she had fought before. Trian and Kyrian were nowhere to be seen, neither was the wood mage. Ilea did spot both the healer and barrier girl, the latter deflecting five soldiers’ attacks while the healer lay dead to her side. A tragic scene and the human in Ilea screamed at her to go help but the screams were silenced as she focused on her target, blinking upwards to face him.
A scream left the man as he slammed both his fists into the held up arms of a pinned down soldier, breaking through both the arms, the man’s helmet and his skull, blood slowly leaking onto the stone floor.
“Birmingale.” Ilea said and watched him snap up, anger in his eyes as he looked at her. A moment later he stood before her, his fist smashing into her held up arm as her buffs surged, barely holding back the strong arm that pushed against her. His second arm rushed forward, making her dodge back to avoid his attack. Blades were one thing but his arms were more akin to clubs, deflecting them was difficult.
Their fists met again as he closed the distance, their fighting styles clashing in a flurry of blows as his raw strength shook through her with each landed punch and her destructive mana flowed into him with each of her own successful hits. Ilea positioned herself and deflected in a way to allow his hits to connect but never in full force or close to anything vital. The damage was healed in the subsequent dodging as she took several steps back.
Looking upwards, the two separated as a meteor of fire smashed through the roof, breaking apart into small burning rocks that set ablaze everything they touched. The two of them rushed at each other, him jumping and Ilea’s wings carrying her towards him before they clashed, grappling in the air before they fell down together, blocking and punching as they could before they impacted the burning ground below. Ilea rolled as his fist smashed into the stone next to her, kicking at his side with all the power she could muster.
He was pushed aside but got up just as she did. Ilea breathed heavily as her Meditation and Hunter Recovery surged through her, prepared for his next moves as the fire around them grew. The man was bleeding and sported several injuries, broken bones and missing teeth. Several cuts lined his legs and arms from his previous battles but he still stood, sighing as he looked upwards.
“At least those Baralia cunts won’t get me.” he said and laughed aloud. “Girl.” he added, looking at her seriously. “I’ve done horrible things in my life and this is the last of many times where I should’ve died. Maybe today is finally the day when I do. If any of the girls are still alive, know that they had nothing to do with the Alymies. If you find it in you, let them go.” he said.
Ilea just looked at him and gave him a slight nod. To acknowledge his desires, the wishes of a man soon dead. Her blood was boiling and she was focused on the fight to come. What would happen to the girl still fighting above them was not on her mind right now.
“Come then.” she said, her muscles tensing, ash spreading around her.
The man grabbed at her arm, squeezing but finding her bones and armor unrelenting as the flesh between was bruised, Ilea’s free hand repeatedly smashing into his face, her mana flowing into him from where he grabbed her. His other hand finally came down on her helmet, the shock going through her head, blinding Ilea for a second in both her eyes and sphere before another punch to her stomach send her flying, several organs injured from the heavy hit.
She lay there and watched the man sink to his knees, blood flowing from his mouth as he stabilized himself with one arm, using the other to brush away the blood. Meditation and healing slowly repaired her own sustained damages.
“You’re a tough one lassie.” he said before coughing, more blood painting the floor red. Parts of their surroundings were still burning and a beam of wood finally broke loose, threatening to fall on Ilea who blinked away in the last moment, continuing her healing nearly uninterrupted. Moving her body would’ve been a bad idea but she gave herself some more time seeing the man near his end as well.
“You lack a healer.” she said, getting up slowly and cracking her neck. ‘Good as new.’ she thought and finished reconstructing her organs, having stopped the internal bleeding. “But you do pack a hard fucking punch.”
“You’re the first one to survive it. Wallace is the name. Kill some of those damn Baralia fuckers for me will you.” he said, Ilea appearing behind him, a hard punch landing on his head before he sluggishly turned around, Ilea’s kick connecting with his head just as he was about to retaliate, his body slammed to the side.
“Ilea is mine.” she said, approaching and kicking at him again while he blocked. The man was certainly hard to kill but at least she didn’t feel like she was murdering puppies.