Chapter 328 Rescue Mission
There was a location too, by flight it would only take a couple minutes to reach it. If the area hadn’t changed too drastically. “You want to find the corpse?” She asked as he closed the book.
“Why not.” He shrugged.
“The area outside the wall was full of the Soul Rippers, I thought you weren’t keen on fighting them. Not that we could, even together. They’re triple marks and I couldn’t damage them at all before my evolution.” She replied.
He waved her off, “Didn’t you talk about fighting them? Plus you changed quite a bit, didn’t you? Might be worth a shot, at least I could send him off properly, he doesn’t deserve to rot…,” He was serious about it and Ilea definitely respected the wish.
“Sure, I want to try out some other things first though. Also we should fight one first, in the lower regions but inside the walls. Just to see how we do.”
“Of course, I’ve got plenty to work through as well. And my ash magic resistance is only at level two so keep it up.” He gave her a thumbs up, Ilea getting up.
She summoned the golden key and threw it to him, stepping a couple meters away. “Thanks.” He said, having caught the thing.
Alright, let’s try this. She thought and jumped up, summoning the Armaments of Trials around herself, her senses cut off immediately. My sphere barely gets through. She noted the weird effect she usually associated with enchantments especially against her skill. Even with her added magic sense, she simply saw nothing. Her eyes brought little too, only the faint light of her buffs illuminating the tight space in front of her face.
Glad I’m not claustrophobic. Here goes nothing…, She started trying different skills, her destruction not even activating, her hands unable to even form fists. What she could do however was release healing magic into the steel, as well as the reversed ability. The same was true for her Storm of Cinders and Heart of Cinder abilities. The magic wasn’t reflected off the steel but instead flowed into it somehow.
Nothing happened at first but as she continued pushing both healing and reversed healing into the steel, after a couple minutes she saw a faint glow in her sphere, the blue light of her azarinth mana but subdued, dulled as if she was in a thick fog. She concentrated on her perception, trusting in the skill completely as she closed her eyes and tried to only think about the magic around her, her destructive reverse healing turned off and only her non reversed version remaining.
The pulse was noticeable, ever so slightly brighter with each minute of meditation and healing. The mist was clearing before she heard a dull knocking around her. Putting the armor into her necklace, she found Maro holding up his fist into the air, a confused expression on his face. “Oh, you’re alive. Thought I’d check. It’s been two hours since you summoned that, thing. Couldn’t see into it either.”
“Yea, been trying to figure it out. I can’t really move in it.” She said and summoned it next to her, “I can use my healing magic on it from within…,”
He touched it once more, “That Dark One smith made it?” She nodded, “Fascinating…the enchantments I can see, they’re incredibly basic. He could do something like this… with metals only?”
“What do you mean something like this?”
Maro looked at her, “It’s blocking my vision too. That’s usually done with enchantments but he somehow managed it with just a composition of metals and very basic obscuring runes.” He explained.
Think of the possibilities of him with his enchanter equivalent. Ilea chuckled. Her sphere was at the top of the second tier and yet she felt like she understood the skill a little better. “He made it specifically for me, not conventional armor… the name suggests it’s for training, or meant as a challenge to overcome.”
The man nodded, “Good luck with that. Hey I’m kind of bored going through all those records. More reading than I’ve done in months.”
“Second bout then?” She asked, putting away the armor again.
He cringed, “I was more thinking on the Soul Ripper and maybe Captain Reyker?”
Ilea cracked her neck and fists, “Sure. We can give it a shot. Do you have anything else you’d like to do in the week that we have to wait?”
The man shrugged, “Not particularly. I’m sure you have plenty of things on your list.”
“Mostly involving training, but yes.”
“That’s fine with me. I could use the levels too, another two or three third tier skills would make a huge difference. Especially for my shield. Having it crushed so easily by those Praetorians and you has been a little shocking. Ridiculous monsters here in the north.” He said, Ilea grinning at him as viciously as she could manage.
“Come then, let’s find one of those monsters.”
“Ugly fuckers.” She whispered to the man standing next to her on the roof of a rotting house, Ilea crouching as she watched the Soul Ripper through her sphere. They were twenty meters away but she was pretty sure the monster heard her, still not moving an inch from its position at the side of its chosen wall, fungi growing near the beast.
“I was more thinking of terrifying. Fits too I suppose. What’s the approach?” He asked.
“I grapple, you beam.” She said, the necromancer snorting before she turned his way, “Better suggestions.”
“No. Let’s go.” He replied, Ilea grinning in the dark before she spread her wings and jumped off the side of the building, speeding up.
There you go, She noticed a twitch in its elongated hands right before the beast jumped, flying at her with outstretched arms. Ilea blinked above it, her ashen limbs closing around the beast and pulling her towards its spine. The pull added speed to her movement before her fist slammed into it, Absolute Destruction spreading into it as her reversed mana added to its pains. Maro’s purple beam lit up a part of the surroundings, the skin of the monster a similar color she noted, simply much darker.
It landed and thrashed, spinning as it tried getting her off of it. Several houses were simply crashed through, Ilea easily ignoring the stone and steel slamming against her back. The monster stopped suddenly and turned its head backwards, a shiver going through her as she stared at the writhing tentacles, Maro’s death beam burning right into them. She felt the damage coming thanks to her Azarinth Fighting and let go, blinking awaybefore a chunk of air as well as Maro’s beamvanished from her previous position.
The pull of the vacuum moved her forward a little. She watched Maro sending another beam at the beast before it jumped away, barely interrupted by the houses. They followed through the air but lost it when it jumped again. “Any idea how much damage we did?” He asked, the two slowing down but unconsciously flying higher to make sure none of them jumped them from below.
“None… very little I would guess. The skin and bones felt just as hard as when I hit one before my evolution.” It had at least showed a new move by turning its head backwards.
“So we just damage them a little and they flee?” He asked, “Very unusual.”
“Not every monster is constantly bloodthirsty.” She suggested. With how they waited for prey on the side of the walls, she thought of them more of an ambush creature. Like the plants that ate insects, just waiting until something came close.
“Ones so powerful usually are.” He added, “Seems like you can at least handle them defensively.” He looked her way, more a question than a statement.
“We can look for him. Let’s just stay this high. Can you see to the ground?”
He nodded, “Not well at this distance and without light but I should be able to spot the area at least. If it still looks similar.”
They continued their flight, keeping up a high speed to make it harder for any monsters to attack them from below. “There’s…,” He started, hesitating as he slowed down, “Ilea, there are hundreds… beyond the wall.”
She looked down but didn’t see or hear a thing, goosebumps forming on her skin, “Want to move on?”
Maro didn’t reply, simply picking up the same speed as before. A couple minutes of silent flight later, the man spoke up once again, “He’s there.”
“What do you mean? Found the corpse?” She asked.
“No… no he’s there, walking around. He still has a sword. The creatures move out of his way.” He replied.
Ilea raised her eyebrows, “Interesting. He’s undead then… they avoid him?” Perhaps there was something about him they didn’t like.Or whatever they could take from him was long gone.
“Looks that way, maybe he’s bait…, they’re looking up at us Ilea.” His voice was steady but she could tell he was tense.
Thinking on it, she tapped her chin, the two hovering over the area. “Do you have a bunch of undead remaining?” She asked after a while, the king nodding in response, “Hand me one, revive it as I hold it up.” She said. A Feynor corpse appeared, Ilea taking it with two ashen limbs and holding it in place as his magic flowed into it, animating the body, its eyes opening and muscles tensing up.
“Show me where the knight is, I’ll hover above and drop it.” Maro moved a couple meters through the air before he nodded. She moved the undead closer to him and dropped it. The body fell for a couple seconds before she heard the noises, impacts on metal, then earth. Silence returned as she looked over at Maro.
“It’s bait.” He said simply.
“Did all of them jump?” She asked but he shook his head, dropping a bunch of bones down. This time no noises resounded.
“I suppose they’re only going for things that have mana.”
She looked over, “Can you reach them from here with your beam? Maybe we can scatter them?” She formed and fired off a bunch of ashen lances in turn.
“No, also they dodged your attacks.” He commented, Ilea instead just forming a mist of ash that immediately dropped down. “Are you trying to bury them? Certainly got the captain’s attention… if it’s even him.”
“Hmm, no. Not really. But the more ash that’s down there, the harder it will be for them to get to me.” She replied. “I’ll need as many distractions as you can make.”
Maro stared at her before he laughed, “You are crazy. Sure?”
She nodded, “If I can’t avoid them I’ll blink out. The chaos even with only a couple dropped undead should be enough. I just hope the knight isn’t higher than the others.”
“Can you kill him so quickly?”
“No. I’ll carry it out.”
“Worth a shot. I’ll try to give you as much time as possible.” Maro said, Ilea forming a small platform of ash for him to drop and form his skeletons on. She continued to create more ash, the soft flakes falling down like snow, her sphere showing them in a dark red color. The magic faded from them as she let go, yet the ash remained.
Half an hour later, the two were hovering over the hordes of Soul Rippers and the lone Undead looking up at them. May the gods have mercy and there isn’t a winged version of them somewhere out there. She thought, concentrating on the sixteen limbs of ash, each carrying a single skeleton. Additionally there were twenty small platforms of ash with a skeleton or undead on each. Maro held five of them too, two holding onto his legs and one on his back.
“Tell me when you’re ready.” He said.
Ilea activated Heart of Cinder, waiting for it to charge as she hovered right over the undead. “One of my more brain dead ideas.” She said with a grin. Maro laughed to her side, serious again a moment later.
“Drop them.” She said, Maro’s undead falling. A moment later she let go of the undead held up by her limbs. One more second passed and she stopped controlling the ashen platforms that held up the skeletons around her. She followed them down, flying straight as she sped up to her full speed. Maro followed a couple meters behind her, her sphere already picking up the Soul Rippers that flew by, catching the bait. She blinked to avoid one of them, closing the distance to the undead.
[Undead Rose Knight - ???]
The armored knight screeched at her, beams of death magic slamming into the Soul Rippers above. Heart of Cinder was released, staggering the knight and swirling up the mountains of ash around her, Ilea willing it all into a massive whirlwind as she wrapped her ashen limbs around the knight’s limbs and body. Her wings moved and made her ascend, the remaining limbs crashing into the jumping Soul Rippers, Ilea dodging and weaving through. She severed the connection to avoid two of them, appearing behind the knight and grappling him as her wings brought her higher once more.
One of the Soul Rippers flying at them was avoided with a twirl, a second and third one slowed by purple beams from above, their trajectory disturbed enough to allow her escape. The knight struggled but she was successful in keeping his blade away from her, another set of enemies were interrupted by death magic and her ashen limbs before she finally reached Maro. The necromancer appeared before her, his hand slamming into the undead’s chest.
“Quick, he’s paralyzed for a couple seconds!” He shouted, the noises from below calming down again. Ilea sped up, Maro falling behind as she shot for the sunlit part of the city. The knight started moving again, Ilea holding down his sword arm with ten of her limbs, struggling against his overwhelming strength.
The two tumbled through the air, Ilea letting go of him as soon as they reached the upper parts of the city. The undead crashed into a house, taking one of the walls with him before he stood up and rushed out, focused on Ilea who landed in the open square in front of the house. Sword swinging downwards, she folded her wings in front of her when a purple beam slammed into the undead’s chest, the creature blocking with its sword as it skidded back a couple meters.
“Take it out?” She asked, Maro landing next to her as the creature screeched once more.
Maro put a hand on her shoulder, eyes focused on the undead, “I’d like to fight this one alone. You did enough.” He added, taking a step towards the undead, his shield and purple flames activating, “Thank you.”
Ilea remained where she was, her wings vanishing as she crossed her arms. He lifted his hands and spoke, “Kohn Reyker… you can rest now.” She felt the power in his words, the magic that slammed into the creature decaying its Stonehammer steel armor as it struggled against him. Maro dodged to the side casually when the sword was thrown, the undead crashing into his shield, punching it before the sword came back. Again the necromancer stepped to the side, crouching as the weapon flew over him.
The beams continued for half a minute, the undead breaking through his shield several times, the king simply teleporting away whenever it happened and reengaging with his ranged attack. Ilea felt a little cheated, knowing she had to get close and personal, dodging all their strikes from melee range. Then again the undead rose knights were taken care of rather easily after her evolutions. Finally, the undead collapsed and Maro’s magic ceased.
‘ding’ ‘Your group has defeated [Undead Rose Knight – lvl 509] – For defeating an enemy two hundred or more levels above your own, bonus experience is granted.
‘ding’ ‘Blink reaches 3rd lvl 11’
‘ding’ ‘True Ash Creation reaches 3rd lvl 8’
‘ding’ ‘Ash and Ember Unity reaches 3rd lvl 8’
The danger of the whole ordeal must have played into those skill levels. She was sure. Just killing the knight wouldn’t have granted the levels, even if it was two hundred levels above her own. She walked over to the king, on his knees and looking defeated, the corpse lying before him, unmoving.
Ilea simply stood there and gave him time and space to deal with it. He spoke, his voice cracking with the second word, “He walkedthose plains… for thousands of years. Long dead.” He shook his head, “While I was right here. Unconscious, not doing anything.”
“You did everything you could. All your undead would not be enough to challenge those Soul Rippers, even with their levels raised by the dungeon.” Ilea said bluntly.
He looked at his handsand sighed, “Your consoling sucks.” Slowly, he got up, “Well… at least he’s free now. This idiot died for Rhyvor, to uncover something about those monsters.” Marowiped at his face before he walked over to the nearby house, collecting enough furniture to build a small pyre. She waited, knowing that he didn’t want her help with it.
When the fire was burning, the two watched the flames consume the rotten armor and corpse, the once powerful guard captain put to rest one final time. “I didn’t like him either.” Maro said after a while, “He loved Elana, I think. Still, he was loyal to Rhyvor. And so was I. That’s the only reason we never openly disputed.” He paused and shook his head, “Even he didn’t deserve this fate. Rest in peace.” He walked off then, the body not even consumed fully when Ilea spoke up.
“There’s a ring here. It’s unaffected by the flames.” She took a step forward and grabbed it, taking it off the finger as the flames licked on her arm.