Chapter 506 Intervention
She found him waiting a few hundred meters outside the city, happy he hadn’t actually left her behind.
“I should maybe join Baralia, just so these fuckwits know who the fuck they’re talking to,” he said, not looking at her. “Nobles… every little piece of shit gets to call themselves that these days!”
“That got really close to you, huh,” Ilea commented.
He laughed. “We should have at least beaten them up a little. For good measure,” he said. “You’re way too kind. That idiot wouldn’t last a single day on my ship. Nor will she manage to survive in this war.”
“Good thing that she’s not part of your crew then,” Ilea said. “Maybe this experience will teach her not to be an absolute twat when she meets someone she can’t place. Where to now?”
“You’re overestimating the human ability to learn from mistakes. Odiah is probably mostly clear by now. It was the first city where a ritual took place. To our knowledge at least. Velamyr himself was there and I doubt he left anything undone before leaving,” he said.
“You have quite a bit of faith in a man you dislike,” Ilea said.
“He thinks too much of himself and takes everything too seriously. He is however a powerful mage and capable strategist. None of these creatures would have stood in his way, I’m sure of it,” he said.
“Says the guy who would kill a noble for a minor insult. Talk about taking shit too seriously,” Ilea said and snickered.
“Never said I’m not a hypocrite. It’s not exactly what I meant either. He’s just not a lot of fun to be around, always concerned with politics, war, and business. I definitely like you more,” he said.
“Even though I’m fucking annoying?” Ilea asked.
“That just adds to your character,” he said. “I take it back by the way. The hypocrite bit. I don’t think you should take the mysterious disappearance of a minor noble so seriously. Nobody would have cared.”
“Except for their families, friends, acquaintances, maybe employees, and lovers,” she said.
“Just a few more added to the pile of this war,” Hector said with a shrug.
“Just because you’ve seen a lot of death doesn’t mean you should think so little of life,” Ilea said.
He just waved her off. “Come on, we’re going towards Seyna. I’m sure some imperial troops have reached it but maybe there’s some treasure left.”
Ilea extended an ashen limb and charged her wings. She had her stance on things but wouldn’t try to change this ancient man’s views. According to his word, he had done terrible things. Her efforts at this point would bear little fruit.
A part of her even agreed with his attitude. Ilea made sure to be aware of those thoughts and feelings, to make sure that she wouldn’t end up like him or so many others in this world of ancient beings, death, and magic.
The flight would be longer than the last one but she was happy with their progress so far, as well as her own.
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Cursed Baker – lvl 42]
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Rock Beetle – lvl 538]
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Cursed Mage – lvl 82]
‘ding’ ‘The Azarinth Sentinel reaches lvl 363 – Five stat points awarded’
‘ding’ ‘The Azarinth Sentinel reaches lvl 364 – Five stat points awarded
‘ding’ ‘Kin of Ash reaches lvl 363 – Five stat points awarded’
‘ding’ ‘Kin of Ash reaches lvl 364 – Five stat points awarded’
‘ding’ ‘The Faen Valkyrie reaches lvl 134 – One stat point awarded’
‘ding’ ‘The Faen Valkyrie reaches lvl 135 – One stat point awarded’
‘ding’ ‘The Faen Valkyrie reaches lvl 136 – One stat point awarded’
‘ding’ ‘The Faen Valkyrie reaches lvl 155 – One stat point awarded’
‘ding’ ‘The Faen Valkyrie reaches lvl 156 – One stat point awarded’
‘ding’ ‘Azarinth Reversal reaches 3rd lvl 21’
‘ding’ ‘Heart of Cinder reaches 3rd lvl 27’
‘ding’ ‘Storm of Cinders reaches 3rd lvl 23’
‘ding’ ‘Force reaches 2nd lvl 13’
‘ding’ ‘Force reaches 2nd lvl 16’
‘ding’ ‘Flare of Creation reaches 2nd lvl 14’
‘ding’ ‘Flare of Creation reaches 2nd lvl 17’
‘ding’ ‘Displacement reaches 2nd lvl 15’
‘ding’ ‘Displacement reaches 2nd lvl 17’
‘ding’ ‘Space Shift reaches 2nd lvl 6’
‘ding’ ‘Space Shift reaches 2nd lvl 8’
‘ding’ ‘Body of the Valkyrie reaches 2nd lvl 3’
‘ding’ ‘Monster Hunter reaches 3rd lvl 4’
‘ding’ ‘You have cleared a major human settlement of a city wide infestation – One Core skill point awarded’
Getting those core skill points, she thought with a grin. Her active space magic skills were coming along nicely, her passive ones however, not so much.
Again, she had rushed past a threshold with level one fifty but she trusted Hector’s words by now. Her Class was unique, why the fuck would it get an evolution at level one fifty?
They reached the hills overlooking the outskirts of Seyna around half an hour later, Ilea’s speed a tiny bit slower thanks to the burden she was carrying. He had a third tier wind resistance too at least which made it less annoying.
“A Trakorov Rider Class… you’re an absolute lunatic for not taking that one!” he exclaimed as they slowed down.
Ilea summoned a meal and started eating, sitting down on the grass as she watched the distant flares of fire and explosion magic.
Seyna wasn’t untouched but it looked like the magical efforts were taking place in the eastern part of the city.
The town itself was considerably smaller than Nara and compared to the fortress like design, Seyna looked like a sprawling settlement that couldn’t be contained, much like she imagined some of the large cities in the States came to be. The obvious main set of walls wasn’t even protecting half of the visible buildings. More walls had been set up farther out but the effort and investment was obviously not the same anymore.
She assumed the sheer number of people that once lived here coupled with the noises and light prevented many monsters from ever even approaching.
Ilea spotted five large Colosseum like structures in various designs. Each of them looked rather impressive, obviously trying to do different things from their counterparts.
There were some other notable buildings but nothing out of the ordinary.
“The description was super unclear and I liked the idea of space magic more,” she said, answering to his comment.
He shook his head in disbelief. “I thought we had a connection there… guess I was wrong.”
“You didn’t have a Sharkrider option?” Ilea asked as he sat down next to her, summoning himself a plate of seafood.
“That’s just for show?” she asked, nodding to the plate.
“Hey, I own many fishing businesses. This stuff is free for me, of course I’ll take advantage. Fresh too thanks to the rings,” he said and stuffed his mouth. He somehow still managed to retain some decency, maybe because it fit so well with his whole demeanor and looks.
“There was a similar option but I’m not a huge fan of sharks. They’re kind of weak and awkward. I thought with the monster tamer Class, I’d be able to choose whatever I want. And it adds the challenge of first subduing them. I was right of course,” he said between bites and swallows. “Looks like we’re too late.”
“They’re just attacking the east,” she said.
“The brave and the opportunists won’t be staying behind. But you’re right, maybe there are some scraps left. Let’s focus on the treasure first this time, they seem to have the rest covered,” he said and got up. “Follow me.”
“I’ll go help first, we can loot afterwards,” she said. “Not like we’d lose a lot of time.”
“Come on!” Hector said.
“They’re just a bunch of soldiers. It’s not like the loot is running away,” she said.
“Fucking shit… okay, let’s make it quick though!” he said and rushed towards the battle.
Ilea just followed the loudest noises, her wings carrying her through the streets before she came out in one of the larger arenas.
Imperial troops had used earth and ice magic to create trenches, traps, and a secured bunker in the middle, two flying people bringing in reinforcements.
The Wildflower Ants crawling through the arena’s stands shot their acid down towards the bunker, mostly just hitting the Cursed that continued to run into the burning traps.
The imperials must have put up anti teleportation enchantments around the bunker, the Pink Mantis Sires appearing close by but never within their twenty square meter structure.
The creatures were instantly distracted by the traps and Cursed around them, fighting them before a plethora of spells rained in form the slightly elevated central position.
Ilea didn’t wait longer to assess the situation, quickly wading through the beasts, occasionally displacing a few projectiles or pushing monsters into the Cursed masses.
Hector basically pressure washed the whole arena, cleaning out the filled trenches and traps with waves of water to make them usable again. He didn’t bother to conceal his identity with a helmet or hood.
Ilea just had her ashen armor active.
“Reinforcements,” she said and nodded up to the two flying imperials carrying two more people.
“Needles,” Hector said and shot up.
Ilea followed, blinking towards the two people, using her sphere to pull the wooden projectiles her way.
Three Needle Flies were following the soldiers, shooting their wood magic. It was fortunate that the flies were incredibly defensive, instantly fleeing when something opposed them too much and always staying at a safe distance.
Ilea displaced their projectiles and extended ashen limbs towards the soldiers. They had no time to react to her quick movements.
Only one of them was injured. “Let me heal him,” she said, grabbing the man from the dumbfounded soldier before she rushed back towards the bunker.
Hector took out the Needle Flies in the meantime, his precision and speed of attack overwhelming their unnaturally quick reactions.
“Lilith,” someone whispered when she appeared within the bunker, using Displacement on herself and the man she carried to counter the enchantment.
The injured soldier wasn’t in critical condition and quickly recovered as she silently checked the bunker occupants.
A few cuts, a broken arm, this one wasn’t lucky, she thought, seeing the headless corpse in her sphere. He had been covered by a thin sheet of cloth.
“We didn’t expect you,” a woman said, her armor a little more decorated than that of the others.
Hector flowed in through one of the windows and reformed.
“Quite impressive, this position,” he said, looking around. “You’re countering the enemy monsters and account for the massive numbers. Well done.”
Ilea quirked up an eyebrow.
“Since when are you a military commander?” she asked, more so because of his tone and less about what he said.
“It’s just the lesser form of commandeering a ship,” the pirate said, dismissing her with an exaggerated wave.
“You’re dripping,” she said.
“I always am,” he countered.
“There are more positions like this within the city. We’re trying to keep the Cursed inside the walls,” the officer said.
“Any luck finding the ritual site?” Ilea asked.
“Not yet, ma’am. A few specialized teams are looking for it,” she said.
Ilea nodded. “Do you have a map with the other positions, we can clear them out before looking for the site ourselves.”
The woman immediately nodded and went to a pack. She got out a folded map and quickly showed it to Ilea.
“Perfect,” Ilea said, taking the map before she vanished.
Captain Reagan steeled herself and took a deep breath as she once more pulled on the stone and earth below.The defenses had to hold, otherwise their whole team would be wiped out.
A retreat was bound to be messy with the high level creatures teleporting through the large plaza they had been assigned to.
The Cursed had been taken out silently and with precise spells and attacks, allowing them around twenty minutes to dig themselves in and create traps and trenches.
It was a well known approach against waves of monsters, especially undead. With the recent demonic scourge, most imperials were somewhat well versed in these tactics. Especially the Scouts.
She was glad that no high level nobles were assigned to her group, allowing them to work in peace and with the efficiency that was needed.
A glorious battle wasn’t needed, they just needed to be safe and secure, taking out the enemy without pause until none were left standing.
Her main goal was to prevent casualties, something that looked more and more impossible to accomplish.
She formed another layer over their defenses, making it as dense as possible. The walls of ice, water, and wind helped mitigate a lot of the enemy damage.
The reports had been extensive but only experience had prepared them for the monsters themselves.
Even as an adventurer, she had rarely seen creatures of such a high level, let alone face them. The plan was to focus many of them into clustered spaces, having them fight the Cursed that would be attracted by the noise.
It had sounded possible to take down the monsters themselves but their spells were dodged or brushed off, only a few of them dying after countless attacks had hit them. Early reports had suggested a level range of two to three hundred but it turned out much higher than that.
She knew each member of her team well, glad to be able to trust them now even though the enemy was vastly more powerful than expected. They had few high ranking officers that could face these monsters but right now she wasn’t sure if any would come in time.
The only solace were the thousands of Cursed humans pushing both against their position but also fighting the monsters. Sadly, they were even less efficient at that task, sacrificing hundreds to even injure one of the insect creatures.
“Hold your ground. We will outlast them!” she shouted and summoned a wall to intercept an acid projectile flying straight at them.
Reagan turned her head, curious at the sudden sounds. Almost like… waves?
Did I die and memories of the ocean are somehow coming back to me?
A loud whistle resounded before a message appeared in her mind.
‘ding’ ‘You have heard the call of Lilith – You are paralyzed for two seconds’
I’ve gone mad, she thought, preparing for whatever was to come.
Reagan’s eyes opened wide when a blinding flash of light and fire enveloped half of the square, Cursed and high level monsters alike flaring up before they turned to ash.
She could move again and got closer to one of the slits on the walls, trying to figure out what was happening.
“Lilith, the one from the songs… what’s she doing here?” one of the others said with an excited voice.
“She came to save us!”
“Shut your mouths and focus. Don’t assume, watch and think,” Reagan hissed, stopping the hysterics before they could take root. “Keep your attacks up and add to the defenses while the enemy is distracted.”
Is it really her? The one from the songs? It’s said she was a Shadow and protected Riverwatch against Baralia slavers. Why would she be here? And why would she come to help us?
She decided to follow her own advice, adding more defensive structures as she tried to clean out the nearby trenches.
The sound of waves had never left and now she saw them too. Water, as if a river had been released onto their position. It flowed silently, sweeping away every last monster in the square. Reagan thought she saw some of them implode into a gory mess but it was difficult to say for sure.
A black shadow appeared out of nowhere, thin near black protrusions whipping through the mass of creatures before it vanished again.
Dozens of Cursed fell, their bodies cut through or their heads missing. She took a step back when she realized the monsters shared the same fate, their bodies falling apart like weak creatures fighting a wind mage of the Scouts.
She felt something brush against her back and turned, her spells ready to strike when her eyes fell onto a female form covered entirely in hardened ash. Black wisps moved in a mesmerizing pattern as her blue eyes pierced her very soul.
Reagan couldn’t breathe nor talk. She could see the thin ash protrusions touching everyone in her team and knew that their lives where at the mercy of this being.
[Battle Healer – lvl ??]
“No injuries. Good,” the being said, her ash retreating back.
Reagan got over the oppressive feeling and chastised herself for letting her guard down like that.
“You’re Lilith,” she said.
A spark seemed to go through the woman’s eyes. “Did you get that from the whistle?”
“Wha… yes. Yes it said that I heard the call of Lilith,” Reagan said. She hadn’t expected such a casual tone from a being that screamed death.
“Yess! It worked,” Lilith rejoiced and twirled once in a playful manner, the large wings apparently not an inconvenience in the tight space.
Water flowed in from one of the slits before a full fledged person formed from it.
“Square’s clear. This is the last position,” the man said and looked around. “Shitting their pants again. And you call yourselves Scouts!?”
Reagan looked at him but didn’t make a move. She had learned long ago not to engage with nobles and the like when they played their little games. This man oozed power and he had just helped clear out the monsters their whole team had difficulties even holding back.