Person knew the greatest threat in the camp was Adam himself. They also knew what happened at midnight, so waited impatiently until they were sure the threat was out of the picture. With an increased level in possess they were able to take control of the Queen Spider as well as the bat that they had used earlier to scout. Even though they could still see Adam out in the inner area of the camp at two hours past midnight the temptation of vermite leaving on the road to the mine was too much to hold back any longer. A mix of fox, boar and spiders all heard the silent command to attack and raced to envelop the small group of vermite as the bats swooped out of the sky towards the camp.
Ti sensed something was wrong as they walked along the path leading them towards the mine. The camp was still clearly visible behind them and something told her they should turn and make the short run back to the safety of the walls. She held up her hand to stop the group and turned to speak to Cae as the first wave of creatures hit them.
Hal was the first to fall, a charging boar knocked him over and gored his chest allowing the next boar to crush him under foot. Bea and Trey were luckier in that they were on the far side of the cart which had protected them. Cae had swept his staff across the remaining creatures and knocked back a fox and one of the other boar giving Jay enough time to string his bow and fire into the group.
Having entered stealth at the first sign of danger Ti had a moment to count their foes before engaging them. She realised the only way to survive was going to be by running. Taking her dagger out she stabbed into the nearest spider and grabbed Trey by the shoulder.
"Run, get back to camp." She urged, pushing him towards the camp while slashing down at a boar with her dagger.
To his credit Trey ran without question, grabbing Bea with him as he went. Ti turned to see Cae surrounded by a horde of spiders and boar, several out of the fight already at his feet. She grabbed Jay who had moved up onto the cart for protection and hauled him down on the far side.
"Run. There's no point fighting here." She said, having to pull and push much harder to get him to disengage. "I'll get Cae." She added noticing his distressed glances towards the vermite fighting on his own. It took a few moments but Jay finally nodded and raced towards camp after the others. Ti watched as a couple of boar and a spider turned to chase him down, hoping that Jay had enough speed and stamina to stay ahead.
That left Cae who had backed up to the cart and was using this to protect his back as he used his staff in long sweeps to keep the boar and spiders at bay. Ti jumped up to stab a spider that was trying to climb around the cart to circle him. She shouted for him to join her atop the cart and after one more sweep of his staff Cae quickly turned and jumped to join her.
"We need to run." She said simply to Cae, pointing back to the lights in the near distance. After waiting a second for him to nod in agreement they both jumped over the boar that had all moved in to enclose them and started to sprint towards camp.
Rai heard the chaos before he saw it. He had been the wrong side of camp at the gate which led to the river. Not knowing what was happening he took a risk and shouted for Ghi and Su who were now guarding the tower to come with him. He ran quickly across the camp, seeing the numerous bats swooping down at his clan as he tried to make sense of what was happening.
He shouted at the nearby vermite to head to the warren to protect themselves and was pleased to see that they were following his instructions. All three archers in camp had been guarding the towers so he sent Ghi to the inner walkway as he and Su ran towards the Eastern gate where the majority of the bats were attacking. This meant he saw as the gate was opened to allow first Trey and Bea, then Jay race back into camp. With the ongoing attacks from the bats there was no one able to close the gate as the creatures chasing Jay crashed through the narrow entrance.
The charge of the first boar was met by a thrust from Rai's staff, pushing it back on contact and stunning it for a moment. This gave enough time for Rai to set up in a defensive stance and protect Jay and the other vermite. It also gave time for Rai to assess the situation and take a degree of control. He saw the other creatures racing towards the gate at the heels of Ti and Cae; he also recognised that the bats had overwhelmed the meagre defence they had by this gate.
"Go, back to the inner wall." Shouted Rai as he passed Jay. "Get everyone inside." He had to assume his instructions would be followed as he was forced to concentrate on the pair of boars and single spider that were now in front of him. With a sweep of his staff he pushed them back once more towards the base of the tower where Ail and Frey were fending off the bats. Su darted in from his side to challenge the spider drawing its attention and leaving Rai against the larger foes.
A well timed thrust pushed one of the boar to knock against the base of the tower as Rai had planned. This caught the attention of the two defenders long enough for Rai to tell them to leave their post before they were killed. Without hesitation Ail jumped down using the height of the tower to his advantage and landing with his spear skewered into the nearest boar's neck. Frey followed and took off towards the inner base as Rai turned his attention to the last remaining boar.
A bat that was no longer concentrating on the tower made him mis-step as he tried to dodge the boar's charge. Instead of being able to spin and attack the boar from behind he felt a sudden jolt of pain as the boar clipped him in the shoulder as it passed. Facing out towards the gate rather than the tower he was positioned to see Ti finally running through having overtaken Cae on the race to camp. Taking a risk by Ignoring the boar behind him Rai moved swiftly to the gap in their defences that had been created by leaving the gate open. His timing was perfect as he used his final skill point to thrust behind the breathless Cae and into a charging boar just as it breached the gap.
The thrust caused the boar to block the entrance just long enough that rather than racing through after the vermite the mass of fox; boar and spider were held up. By the time they pushed the boar into the camp Cae had recovered enough to turn and form a defensive line with Rai. Having defeated the creatures already in camp Ail; Su and Ti were lined up to the right hand side ready to push the attackers back. Despite their recovery the vermite were outnumbered at least two to one. Rai was too far from the gate to do more than watch as the creatures were funnelled by his defensive line to the left rather than being entirely stopped. He stepped back to stop them flanking him and shouted in frustration as another boar joined the enemy their side of the walls.
Adam was amazed at the difference when he didn't have to worry about his stamina overnight. This meant that rather than being near to collapse when he heard the cries and screams that foreshadowed the attack he still had three quarters of his stamina remaining. He had been playing with his map, showing Ma where the quarry and mine were located and looking for a sensible spot for an outpost to save the vermite coming back and forth from the main camp each day. Adam jumped to his feet immediately and grabbed his spear planning to head to the gate where the fighting was thickest but found himself held back by Ma.
"We need to get those that can't fight safe," she said "can you help?"
Adam paused for a moment before changing direction and aiming for the crafting area instead where he could sense the bulk of the vermite. He could sense the fear coming from his followers as the link between them strengthened when the distance between them reduced. He spotted Lei first.
"Get everyone back inside the base." He called as he continued running in a circle around the camp shouting the same to Pa and Pel who were building a new construction in the area facing towards the river. He called for Dee and Poi to come down off the tower they were guarding to follow him; directing them to clear out the training area. He completed his loop by ushering the vermite farming in the fields inside the inner wall to meet back up with Dee and Poi at the open gate.
Ma nodded in satisfaction and pointed to indicate that only those fighting were still outside. The light of the torch by the gate was flickering, throwing up distorted shadows of the beasts that had attacked onto the inner wall. Adam saw the vermite pushing back as he pushed himself to race to their aid. Rai and Cae had formed a short defensive line with an obvious weakness on one side that he headed to correct.
It took moments to cross the area between the inner base and the camp wall but in this time Adam had formed a plan. He kicked up with his leg as he approached forming an earthen barrier at the same time pulling in with his water mana to form a protective shield above the group of vermite.
"Move right." He shouted to Rai and Cae too fixed on his objective to even notice how smoothly they followed his order, their time fighting together as a team in the mines paying off.
He punched forwards with his spear using split to attack two boar at once then formed a firelance to finish one of them off. The strengthened line gave Ti the time and space to drop back behind Rai where she darted in to harrass the enemies he was attacking. With Ti in support Adam stepped back to refresh his water barrier before realising this was no longer needed and stepping back in to the fray. Without any different instructions Dee and Poi had followed Adam to the gate, Jay and Frey both joining them rather than follow the previous orders to head to the base. This meant that twenty paces behind where the vermite were defending was a line of archers drawing the attention of all the remaining bats. If the bats swooped too close Dee was on hand to stop any attacks with her spear.
They had turned the momentum of the attack and were pressing back to the gate when Adam's attention was drawn suddenly to the queen spider who was ignoring the press of bodies and had climbed the wall to look down directly upon him. He could see the intent in her eyes as her legs bent into a crouch giving her the energy needed to spring off the wall and attack him. At the same time Adam sensed one of the bats ignore the archers that were harrying them and dive down towards him. He would have questioned how he knew these creatures were targeting him but his new ability to sense mana and energy was screaming in a way he could not ignore.
The timing was perfect. Person had seen Adam run around the camp and then finally sprint across to the gate from their perspective as a bat. Almost half the creatures they had dominated were dead but they were irrelevant bait to gain a greater prize. They had waited until Adam's stamina would be mostly drained and now watched as the energy of his mana and skill points were depleted too. As they were able to view Adam from both their bodies the impulse to destroy and consume his core overwhelmed them. They simultanously jumped and dove towards Adam leaving the husks of the creatures behind, relinquishing control back to the creatures, as they ignored the physical body and attacked Adam's core directly.
Adam's consciousness was suddenly shifted. He was aware of his body ducking to roll from the dual attack. While he had dodged the main mass of the spider and bat he was unable to avoid a pulse of energy from each that homed in on his body. To his surprise there was no pain as they hit him. Instead they passed straight through his skin impacting instead on the core of energy that was inside him. The unbearable sensation this caused was not pain but something else. All Adam's senses were drawn in by the sensation leaving him blind, deaf and insensate to everything around him.
Initially all Adam could see was the swirling mass of colours that made up the energy inside him. He recognised the swirls of rich golden god power; the hot red-orange bursts of fire mana and the vibrant greens that he knew were linked to his health. It was through this recognition that he became aware of the invading energy; tendrils of grey were snaking in from outside his sphere of power. Snaking from a mass that was surrounding him and slowly crushing his space as time passed. He exerted his energy to fight back against this mass, learning to push out and force the tendrils away from his core. With the pulses he was able to see more, he watched his power pass along small tendrils of his own, the cords of power linking with other sources of energy.
As he pressed harder he realised he recognised these energy sources and could see them moving independently. He pushed harder still to try and break free of the grey power encircling him but only succeeded in stretching it thinner. The thinner it became the more aware of his surroundings he became. Adam still lacked his normal senses but could now imagine the world around him using his new sense. Similar to the mana sense he had been picking up while using his mana this allowed him to see things outside the normal spectrum of sight. What he was seeing was the power within all the creatures around him, each of his followers lit up with varying degrees of health; mana and skill pools. Each recognisable as an individual in the unique make up of their core. Additionally he could see tendrils of power reaching from the grey mass towards the spiders, boar and bats they had been fighting. He had been able to see this information for a while but failed until now to process it fully.
Once the pieces fell into place in his head something clicked and he could now tell that the core he was looking at belonged to a level four boar. He could also tell that something was wrong; that the energy was being sucked out by the grey mass, showing him his fate if he were to succumb to its power. The last penny dropped as he focused on the grey mass itself. Despite the additional energy and changes that had occurred he was still able to recognise the signature of Person within.
His shock at this revelation gave Person the edge in the fight once more. They took the opportunity given by squeezing tighter around Adam's core and cutting off his awareness of the others around him rather than probing deeper into his energy as they had done before. With no experience of this type of fight and no hints as to how he could succeed it was this attack that gave Adam the information he needed to get the upper hand.
By blocking off his followers Person revealed that they were able to give him support he had failed to utilise so far. Adam pushed out once more to visualise the links but unlike Person who used the power unwillingly Adam sent a request along the links before pulling back in. The resulting waves of power that entered his core flared out from the previously contained sphere, too much for him to direct or master intentionally. As the flares blasted away portions of the energy enveloping Adam the core of Person was revealed. Knowing he was previously linked with his foe Adam quested out with his own energy to reach the withered cord that had bound them together.
He could not consciously say how he managed but when linked it was his will that pressed against Person, dominating harder and harder as he pulled the source of power back towards him. He could sense the anger and injustice coming from the core of energy that now resided back inside his own source of power. He could tell the feelings were his own but at the same time not; twisted away from the way he would normally reason through and balance them. It was odd to accept the anger and upset at Person's situation especially as it had started as his own feeling, just perverted into something more. These thoughts and feelings were pulled from Person to Adam as he sucked energy away from the grey mass.
There had been a complete reverse from the start of the fight. As he probed in to the grey mass of energy Adam comprehended something more, he needed the knowledge and skills that Person had developed, he did not want to destroy them completely. He stopped trying to compress the remaining energy until it was no more and instead reinforced and strengthened the power around it before expelling what was left, attached only by the cord that had formed their bond. Cautiously Adam probed once more towards this energy to see what would happen.
To his surprise a notification appeared.
|System reboot complete. Welcome to World M-142. Would you like assistance in analysis?|