Chapter 272 Overconfidence is a quick and direct Killer
Austin stepped forward, “Krentin… what a joy to find you here. You played me Seath, impressive. I’m sure we’ll find an arrangement. You can have the map back and whatever is in there. We didn’t find anything useful since getting in which wasn’t long ago. We did however clear out all the monsters on the way here.” He smiled and gestured for them to go look in the small room.
“He didn’t clear out anything. The human in black armor did all of the work.” Seath said, “And she has a storage item so if there was anything in there I assume it’s already gone.”
Krentin made a clicking noise, making a fist with his armored hand before he removed the silver chain holding his hood. “I don’t want this to end bloody. Young lady, are you working for that man?”
Ilea carefully identified all of them, Krentin himself being the highest at two twenty eight and a mage, the mana coming from him felt powerful and the dark wisps licking at the air reminded her of Walter. The lizard person she identified as a female warrior was at two twenty one, wearing heavy plated armor. Her sword was curved and nearly as long as Ilea was tall, a red sheen visible near the blade. Her eyes were reptile like and nearly red, staring at her with high intensity. Ilea noted that she was breathing hard, either because of some injury or because of incredibly excitement.
“I work for myself.” She simply stated, looking at the rest of his group.
The woman was at two ten and a healer but the way she held herself and was geared, Ilea knew there was more to it. A thin set of steel armor with a brown hooded cloak. A scarf prevented her from seeing anything but her blue eyes. The black shadow like being that reminded her of Goliath was a mage at one eighty five, either using the halberd for show or in combination with spells, Ilea wasn’t sure.
Krentin scratched his head, “You’re complicating things considerably.”
Ilea didn’t disagree. Evaluating the group, she was pretty sure the lizardperson and perhaps the healer were the only real fighters of the group. Just based on how aware the were, how tense and prepared their bodies were. They reminded her of Shadows. Austin seemed glad the attention had shifted to her instead of him. “She’s dangerous Krentin.” Seath said, the bug person looking at her and considering.
Ilea thought about just sending out some ash and getting out of there but she kind of wanted to fight the lizard woman. See what she could do with that sword. Let’s wait a couple more minutes.
“Dangerous… I invested too much to stop here. Are you willing to part with what you found in there, I’ll pay you five gold as well. Just leave it here and vanish, no repercussions.” The mage explained.
Ilea grinned at that. No repercussions… how very generous. “I don’t have business with anybody here. I cleared out the way and I’ll keep what I found, how does that sound mister important?”
Krentin sighed, “Knock them out.”
Ilea stood there when she felt magic surge from the black wisp person. A moment later a blast of mind magic went through her mind, both Baron and Austin tumbling before they fell to the floor. She looked at the mage who wobbled a little in the air, one arm touching its head.
“That’s your last chance. Do you really want to do this?” Ilea asked, her eyes locked with the lizard whose sword was already poised and ready to fight.
“Boss… she’s a tough one.” The wisp said in an ethereal voice, respect evident.
“Are you fucking kidding me. We’re five against one. Move!” He said, dark magic forming between his hands. An explosion of movement happened in the group, each fanning out and readying their attacks.
Ilea didn’t give them time. They did have the number advantage but they were in a somewhat small hall and knew only limited things about her abilities. The difference between us, Ilea thought as she appeared in their midst, an explosion of ash darkening the room before projectiles shot out from within the cloud, destroying the five magic lights still working. The healer had already rushed past her and the lizard had teleported to her old position, now looking around as the room fell into darkness. Ilea blinked next to Seath who was playing her music, avoiding the dark magic burning into the stone floor and the cages where she had just stood.
Is that you feel pain. She thought, grabbing Seath’s arm and breaking it in a swift motion. A kick to the struggling cat woman’s leg snapped the bone, her defenses laughable against her empowered body. A scream left her as she collapsed, Ilea appearing instead next to the other healer who was disoriented in the dark but had closed her eyes. Ilea’s fist was blocked by an armored arm but the ashen limbs behind her cut into her shoulders and back, making her wince as blood splattered on the ground. Not an armor, Ilea noted but solid stone covering her arms. A hard kick against the blockade sent the woman flying, landing hard against one of the secured steel cages, bending the metal with her impact.
Crouching, Ilea felt the air as a huge blade rushed over her head. A kick followed that she avoided with a short roll, getting up to see the red eyes staring at her in the dark. A red mist was visible around the lizard, the warrior advancing on her with high speed, her sword smashing the cages and the ground while Ilea dodged black lightning coming from their boss. Deflecting one of the slashes, she hit the lizard’s arm, denting the armor slightly. Destructive mana rushed into her but Ilea didn’t stop, stomping on the stumbling warrior’s tail before her foe vanished.
Ash formed around her when black lightning crashed against it, burning through layer after layer before reaching her Veil. Ilea blinked next to the mage who was floating at the other end of the room, the lightning burning into the ground where she had just stood. Seath was still crying out from the pain and it seemed the mind mage didn’t attack her anymore because of the feedback he got from her resistance. The human healer didn’t make a sound, likely taking care of her wounds before attacking her again.
Krentin turned towards her in the air, letting her get close. Ashen limbs crashed into his armor, sliding off the sleek metal, two finding purchase as they cut into his shoulder and a part of his face. Her fist landed, Ilea knowing quite well he wanted her to touch him. She however had confidence in outlasting a mage of his level. I survived the Blue Reaper…, She thought, dark magic in the form of black lightning coursing through her as she hit and hit again, his armor denting and Destruction continuously burning down his health in conjunction with her reversed healing.
He started blasting her with dark magic orbs that she couldn’t dodge at the close distance, simply delivering more damage as he started to retreat through the air. When he reached the wall and her hits pushed him onto and then into the stone, all he could do was block with his arms as well as he could. A barrier came up but she blasted through it with a combination of her fists and her ashen limbs. The lizard appearing next to her made Ilea blink away again. Checking her resources, she found her health sitting below four thousand, her mana still at over five. Sacrificing nearly a thousand mana, she was back at full health. Mana and stamina were recovering as she stood there, meditation flowing through her.
She heard a cough, coming from the wall where she had just attacked Krentin, “Wait…you can have what you found… just leave.”
Ilea looked his way and cocked her head to the side, “That would be convenient, now wouldn’t it.” The lizard appeared a couple meters in front of her, sword poised, her maw showing a wicked grin. Blood stained the floor from where Ilea had injured her tail. The healer stepped up behind her, eyes still closed, stone now covering her whole body. Seath wasn’t playing music but she was standing to the side. The black wisp looked around but didn’t make a move. At least it wasn’t just a cheap way to distract her.
They’re obviously much weaker. “How much gold do you have on you? Don’t lie.” She asked, her question directed at Krentin.
“A little above a hundred.” Came the short reply.
“How much does one of the blood canisters go for usually?” She asked, her mana recovering quickly. She knew the others were preparing as well but their abilities were horribly mismatched against her, their magic lacking impact on her defenses.
“Ten, twenty gold. Depends how far you’re willing to travel.” Krentin croaked, holding his side as he got out of the wall and hovered down to sit down and rest on one of the cages.
“I’m not in the north to kill people and you’re hardly worth the trouble. Just leave thirty gold and get the fuck out of here. Consider it a fee for your lives. Lizard girl, you stay.” Ilea stated, crossing her arms. Krentin nodded in the dark, getting a pouch out of a steel compartment on his belt. Counting out the coins with shaking hands, he placed them on the floor before bowing to her.
“We won’t come after you, I swear it on my name. You won’t regret this decision noble warrior.” Taking a step back, he limped towards the exit. Seath hissed at the pain from her mangled leg, her healing ability not working quite as quickly as Ilea’s third tier.
She looked at the cat woman. Austin or Baron would make her life a nightmare if they survived, “You’re free to try, I welcome a challenge.”
She saw Krentin’s smile fighting through the pained expression, blood still dripping down from his wounds. The dark wisp looked her way, stopping for a moment before it joined Krentin’s side. It would surely reevaluate its class and focus on mind magic after this encounter. The human healer circled around Ilea and made her way to the exit, “Human. What’s your name?” Ilea asked.
She stopped and turned slightly, “Jonna.”
Ilea smiled, “Jonna. That’s a good combination of classes.” The woman nodded and left, the wounds on her back and shoulders healed completely.
Ilea walked to Baron and checked him through his massive armor. Breathing. Sending a pulse of healing mana into his mind, he was startled awake. She did the same with Austin who wasn’t dead either. Ilea barely knew them but seeing how Krentin hadn’t ordered them killed immediately made her think she had made the right decision. The bug person didn’t come off as a complete asshole at least. A little overconfident perhaps. Having their corpses splattered here just because Austin had stole a map and they wanted to get their stuff back wasn’t really, desirable.
Of course they had attacked her but she saw it more as a challenge. Had they attacked any of her friends however, there would be nobody standing.
“That look in your eyes. I am glad we did not invoke your wrath.” The lizard woman said, “Only a little.” She added and snickered. “Why keep me here?”
Ilea relaxed and looked her way, Austin hitting invisible enemies with his fists, “I want to see if I can take hits from your sword. I want to face you, no teleporting and no ash…,”
The lizard woman looked at her with excitement, “I am Hana, it is an honor to face you, warrior of ash.” She said and bowed a little.
Ilea mirrored the gesture. “Hana, let us move to the lighted hall further out. I am Ilea.”
“What the fuck happened?! My head hurts… Ilea what did you do? Where are the lights?” Austin grumbled but she just ignored him. Baron was looking around, his flashlight activating before he started following Ilea.
“Did you give them what they wanted?” He asked.
Ilea grabbed the thirty gold from the ground and counted them in her hand, “Nah, I broke some bones and we renegotiated.”
“You won… why didn’t you kill them, you have no idea what angering Krentin will do for you. He won’t stop until he has your head!” Austin yelled.
Ilea turned to him, “Dangerous enough for you to steal from him?”
He snorted, “He attacked you too didn’t he. You could’ve taken all they had.”
“And kill another five powerful sentient people. For what? Gold? Another storage item or some armor?” She paused, finding the money to equal forty gold coins. He gave more than I asked. “There’s enough monsters around to hunt and kill, I try not to become one too often.” Not for something petty like gold.
“You save us after all, strangers. I commend your admittedly strange thinking.” Baron said when he reached her.
Ilea handed him ten of the gold coins she had gotten from Krentin, “You’re alright. Krentin’s gold and I think plenty for the risks you took to come here.”
“Are you sure Ilea? There really is no need.” Baron said, surprising her a little.
Guess not all dwarfs are made of the same metal, “Just take it.” She opened his massive hand and put the gold within, storing the other thirty in her necklace. 99 gold and 60 silver. Nearly enough to pay another Shadow’s Hand badge.
“Thank you.” Baron said and bowed.
“What about me?” Austin asked from the side.
“You?” Ilea asked, leaving the hall and joining Hana outside who was already moving the corpses to a corner of the hall. She smirked, “You should be glad to be alive. Typical human.”
“You’re human too.” He said and smirked. The man knew exactly how well he came out of this situation. His stupidity not paid with death, at least not yet. If Krentin really was the way Austin had described, it would be a dangerous couple months and years to come for the man.
“You still owe me four gold and twenty silver Austin.” Baron said, “And I can’t see a treasure map anymore.”
The man winced before quickly crushing one of his arrowheads, creating a big cloud of smoke. Ilea watched him jump up the walls and run out of the hall, shaking her head in the process. “I don’t think you’re getting your money back.” Ilea commented.
Baron shrugged, “You know, after traveling with him for a couple days I didn’t really consider it.” He hesitated, looking at Ilea and Hana, “I don’t suppose you’re looking for someone in your team?”
“Not really. I’ll visit the camp or Hallowfort if I need anything though. See you around Baron.” Ilea said, winking to the dwarf.
“I thought as much. Good luck on your reckless adventure. I’m in your debt.” Bowing to her again and nodding to Hana, he too slowly made his way up the wall, massive fists crashing into the stone before a powerful pull got him onto the balcony.
Finally, some goddamned peace and quiet. Ilea sighed and changed into comfortable clothes. She cracked her neck and nodded at Hana.
The woman prepared her sword, checking her armor before a thin red mist formed around her, “I might not be able to stop…,”
“Don’t worry, I’ve fought a berserker before.” Ilea replied with a smile, ashen limbs at the ready. This time she didn’t avoid the strike, a quick overhead slash after a dash Hana made towards her. The blade cut into her Veil, the force of the strike traveling through her, damaging parts of her forearms that she quickly healed. Hana shouted as more of the red mist formed, the sword pushing down harder and harder, Ilea forced to push it aside, the thing digging into the floor with ease. Fists lashed out, one hard punch landing on her side before Hana let go of her sword and jumped away.
Ilea smirked, the other woman ignoring the injury as she held out her hands in a battle stance. Ilea grabbed the sword and ripped it out of the stone, feeling a sudden pull on it that dragged the thing towards Hana. “Interesting. An enchantment?” She asked, ashen limbs crashing into the ground behind her to prevent further sliding. The weapon suddenly jerked upwards, out of her grip and then curved towards the lizard who just smirked, showing sharp teeth and a reptile tongue. Her red eyes glowed as she caught the heavy weapon with ease, moving it to the side and going into a crouch.
“An enchantment. I like to throw it.” She said as Ilea rushed at her. This time the blade moved much more quickly, with less force to allow for more strikes and better maneuverability. Ilea dodged most of the blows, deflecting a last one with three of her ashen limbs before she stepped into melee range. Hana kicked at her but Ilea simply caught her massive leg and held onto it, twirling before she smashed the woman into the floor. A loud crash resounded, cracks in the stone floor forming. Hana kicked off the ground and twirled in the air, landing before she spit out some blood.
“You are quite strong for a mage.”
“Am I not a warrior?” Ilea asked, smirking at the lizard, slowly taking steps towards her.
Hana prepared her blade, “Of course that’s what it says but I saw what you did with your ash and those arms coming out of your back… that’s no way to fight for a warrior.”
Ilea shrugged and rushed at her again.