Chapter 10: Breaking Through
The creature stood below a tree on top of the highest mountain in the area, crossing its arms and overseeing the spectacle below.
“Fools.” It snickered. Tens of thousands of monsters slammed their bodies into the barrier, trying to get to the ether well in the middle. The bigger fools had been at it for more than a day already, still unaware that only the weakest among them were ignored by the wall and allowed to go through.
The fools inside the metal vessel floating in the sky were no better. They thought themselves smart and cunning, with their stupid spells and their weakling weapons.
They didn’t know god’s chosen seeds had already jumped into those wells to become the lords of the land beyond and take advantage of those stupid spells of theirs. They were already too far ahead of all the fools trying to compete with god. Fools all of them. Fools.
“Hey, drudge, what are you doing there?!” It flinched when it heard its master calling. “Get your ass over here, we’re leaving.”
“Yes, master.” Drudge rushed to its master’s side, trotting with its characteristic uneven pace and hunched back. That’s what happens when you try to be like master. It gets master angry. Fool, idiot. Drudge slapped its face again and again.
“Stop that shit, drudge!”
“We’re still in time to turn back.” I looked at Brian, Jair, and Veronica in the eyes. We had finished healing ourselves but we spent quite a few mana points in that. If only two monsters of the bunch gave us so much trouble, then death was but assured at the plaza. Although it was true we performed really bad during that fight.
“No more being bystanders, remember?” Brian muttered.
I sighed and shook my head. “Do you all agree we should go? I mean, I want to.”
“We haven’t seen any more people fleeing from the plaza, so things should be more or less under control,” Veronica said.
Or everyone is dead…
“If you guys go, I’ll go,” Jair said with evident hesitation in his face.
“It’s decided, then,” I said. “Now, what do we do about those?” I pointed at Brian’s hand, where he held both of the monster crystals.
“You should get one.” Brain pushed one of the crystals toward me.
Jair nodded. “It’s been some time since you got one, so it’s only fair. We’ll just play rock, paper, scissors for the other.”
Veronica shrugged, accepting the decision.
I consumed my crystal while they decided what to do with theirs.
What in hades was that?
I almost lost my life to for 1 ether?
Maybe I was just unlucky. I waited until Brian won the last game of rock, paper, scissors and consumed his crystal.
“How much ether did it give you?” I approached him.
“Just 1…” He said with a deep frown.
“You’ve got to be kidding me?” I faced towards the sky and let out a groan. That’s what the system meant with monsters regaining their original power. Then how strong were goblins since they gave three times more ether most of the time?
With a sense of foreboding growing inside me, I led the way to the plaza.
Finally, five minutes later, we turned around the corner that led to it.
We encountered a troubling sight. The plaza was completely filled with monsters—hundreds of them.
That was enough cue to run away if it wasn’t because the group of people—around 100—fiercely resisting the monsters.
Fire exploded, boulders flew around and sparks jumped everywhere.
And it wasn’t like the monsters were assaulting those poor souls without rest. Some monsters roamed around the plaza sniffing other monsters, while others simply fought each other.
Just as Brian said, they were a disorderly mob.
The problem was how to join the fight without being swarmed by monsters.
“I’m not doing this.” Veronica shook her head vigorously. “It’s suicide.”
I rolled my eyes and glared at her. Wasn’t she as smart as me? Could she not see there was an opportunity to earn an evolution point?
Now more than ever it was important we got stronger. If the goblins were a stronger type of monster than the raccoons as I suspected, now that they regained their full power we had no easy way of leveling up.
Then a light bulb went off in my head. “Have you continued practicing your skill?” I asked her.
“Yes.” She gave me a suspicious look.
“How far can your directed voice reach now?”
“Like… 20 meters?” She tilted her head. “Twice that distance if I don’t care about letting others hear what I say..”
“We might stand a chance of joining the others.” I smiled. “Have you practiced your monster screeching lately?” My smile widened. I might have found a way to break through the horde of monsters.
Ronel and the others were holding on pretty well, even opening gaps in the monsters surrounding them, but their injuries were piling up and their fighting potential decreasing. If we squeezed through the monsters and healed the injured they might stand a chance. We just had to be quick about it.
We approached very carefully, staying behind scrapped cars as much as we could. Sadly, the closest car was still a little too far, so we had to make do with the monsters at the edge of the plaza.
“You see that raccoon over there?” I pointed at the plaza.
“Which one?” Veronica squinted her eyes.
“The one next to the pig-thing with spikes all over its body.”
“Yeah.” She nodded.
“Send a roar behind them. Make it sound like a lion roar.” I said.
“Like a lion? Who do you think I am?” She snorted.
“A person that will help us gain an evolution point.” I patted the back of her neck and shook her.
“Ugh,” She rolled her eyes.
I stared at the side of her face. Her skin was softer than expected…
Veronica’s face began contorting in bizarre ways and then she blew air out as if she was, well, roaring.
I abandoned my foolish thoughts and jerked my face towards the raccoon and the spiky boar just in time to see them flinch and turn around, hissing and growling at a nearby cat monster the size of a big dog. The cat, disliking their hostility or for whatever other reason, responded in kind, roaring at them.
Two other cat monsters joined their buddy and another spiky boar joined the other side. The animosity between them grew at lightning speed and then they threw themselves at each other.
“Do the same with that rat over there…”
We repeated the same procedure a few times and soon a brawl broke out among a big portion of the monsters standing by, especially in the area in front of us.
“It’s now or never, I guess.” I slapped my cheeks and let out a long breath.
“I still think it’s crazy.” Veronica pouted.
“But not suicide anymore.” I raised an eyebrow and chuckled. “Let’s go.”
With the monsters exuding violence and killing each other we had a little path open towards Ronel and the others. Still, we had to dodge the monsters trashing about and even push away some that decided to attack us. Those monsters ended up changing their target and forgetting about us.
It was just a 30-meter walk to Ronel and the others, but with how much we had to walk back, jump around and avoid, it felt like whole kilometer.
I never prided myself on my sight, but even in the midst of that chaos, I caught sight of some dead monsters lying around and the beautiful ether crystals near them. I might or might not have taken us through the longest route just so I could pick some up.
When we finally reached the last layer of monsters between us and the others it felt like we encountered a huge wall. A wall in the form of a demonic ape with a pair of straight horns and sharp spines all over its back.
The four of us stabbed its back with our spears at the same time, making it freeze.
Then its head was blown off by someone at the other side.
As the ape fell we ran around it and finally reached the group.
We were welcomed with a punch flying towards us that almost hit Jair right on his chest. He barely avoided it thanks to Veronica pushing him away.
“Stop, stop, stop!” I yelled and waved my hands. “We’re not monsters!”
The guy that threw the punch stared at us in silent shock.
I wanted to say something to the guy, but the monsters were not about to let us off that easily.
After the ape died another monster came to take its place, attacking us from behind.
We backed away thrusting our spears at the incoming boar.
My spear pierced its eye while the others cut its face in various places.
After we pulled our spears, the guy that almost punched Jair threw a punch at the thrashing boar, splitting its skull open.
We squeezed into the crowd of people trying to find any familiar face among the people that weren’t fighting. We’d seen Ronel, but the guy was currently fighting.
“How the hell did you get here?”
People asked us similar questions at the beginning, but the deeper we went into the crowd, the fewer people seemed to noticed we weren’t there from the beginning.
When we reached the center of the group, we encountered a bunch of people with broken arms, bleeding wounds, and other such injuries. Among them was a face I knew too well.
“How the fuck did ya’ get here, halfpint?” Lisandro laid on a puddle of his own blood, pressing his stomach hard and glaring at me despite his pale countenance.
“With my feet.” I knelt in front of the guy and put a hand on his stomach.
“The hell you’re doing?!” He slapped my hand away, hurting himself in the process. “Ugh!” He groaned and pulled his hand away.
“Stop being a little wuss and let me heal you.” I clicked my tongue and put my hand on his stomach again.
His arm jerked for a moment, but he restrained it and let me heal him.
It took two minutes to completely close his wound, which left me with half of my mana remaining. “Do you know of another strong person that is injured as well?” I asked him
Lisandro stared at me with his brows furrowed and the corner of his lips slightly raised.
“Why do I ask…” I rolled my eyes and stood up to ask around.
“There’s an adult…” Lisandro said as I was turning around. “The guy can throw fireballs.” He pointed to a guy with his nose broken and his face swollen red.
I nodded without looking back at Lisandro. “Go back to fight.” I left those words and went to heal the fireball man.