I need to breathe.
My hands and arms are shaking and I can hardly hold my sword steady anymore.
I step forward with my right leg and position my sword to my left side. I step forward with my left leg and slash horizontally.
Damn, he stepped to his right and dodged my strike.
Here he comes, I need to raise my sword to guard against the coming strike!
A thrust comes straight at my chest, so I swing my sword in an arc and deflect the blow. While my sword is still in motion, I bring it over my head and chop down with everything I have!
Again, he steps back out of my range. I struggle to take my stance.
My footwork has fallen apart and my breathing is erratic. I don’t know how much longer I can holdout for.
I’m shown no mercy as another slash comes at my left shoulder. I raise my sword up, waiting for the powerful strike to arrive.
I watch in horror as he switches his grip and slashes from my bottom right instead. The world goes still as I’m struck across my chest.
I collapse to my knees struggling to breathe. I fall forward onto the muddy ground.
Is this how it ends, just lying here face down in the mud?
“Are you ok!?” Camden’s concerned voice only rubs salt in my wounds.
I roll over and look up at the headman. “I couldn’t even scratch you.” I turn my head away from him and look at the wooden sword in my hands. “At least I didn’t drop my sword this time.”
“You’re improving at an astonishing rate.” I hope he’s not sugar-coating it for me.
A few claps echo around us and I hear feet shuffling off into the distance. “Are they gone?” I ask Camden.
“Yes, they’re gone now.” Camden moves over to the rock we have our waterskins resting on. He brings me my water as he chugs his own.
“Thank you.” I sit up and take the water offered to me. “Losing in front of a crowd gets worse every time,” I complain as I raise my waterskin to my mouth. After I gulp down a few mouthfuls of water, I look up at Camden again. “Why do they have to watch us like that?”
“Can you blame them? They’re worried about the chameleon spiders and watching us spar eases their fears. And I’m sure watching their young hero grow doesn’t stop people from coming either.” I shoot Camden a glare. He knows I hate to be called that.
“I’m not a hero. I’m a blacksmith.” I give him a challenging look.
“You’re both in the eyes of most of the villagers. I’ve even heard the hunters talk about your amazing skill.”
“Skill, that’s rich. I can’t even touch you during our sparring sessions and I’ve been coming to you for a week now.” After Del warned me about needing a teacher, I asked Camden to give me a few pointers the next day.
I visit the back of the headman’s house every morning after my run with my mother and have a quick lesson with Camden. On my days off, like today, I spend more time training with him and we have ourselves a sparring match to test where I’m currently at.
“This is only our second time sparring with one another. I might not look it but I used to have a passion for weapons as a child.” He waves his wooden sword around with a smile on his face. “I needed to blow off some of my excess energy after studying under my father all day and weapons were my way to release my accumulated stress. My father even hired a tutor for me one year to better improve my skills.”
He stretches his body and I hear a popping noise. “This reminds me of my younger days training with Master Grells. He was a retired soldier from the trade war’s years ago.” Camden takes a deep breath. “Looking back on my life like this reminds me how old I am now.”
“Not too old to beat me.” He smiles at me.
“Maybe for a few more months. At the rate, your skills increase… and your level.” I narrow my eyes at him and he winks at me. “I’ll run out of things to teach you quickly.”
I look at my wooden sword and frown. “You say that but I was hoping to have my sword skills at a higher level for the mission tomorrow.”
“Everyone is praying to the gods that the three of you don’t have a reason to draw your weapons tomorrow.” I doubt we’ll be that lucky but I can’t say that to him. The headman is still dealing with the fallout from the goblin subjugation and he received multiple responses from neighboring villages asking what we plan to do about the magic beasts like it’s our fault that they’re here.
“Are you done for today?” The headman looks down at me.
“Not just yet.” I stand up. “I still feel like practicing a little more.”
“All right, I’m going inside to check on the ladies.” I chuckle at the worried look on his face.
After mother and I run in the morning she walks with me to the headman’s house. While Camden teaches me, mother and Miss Downs have tea and chat about gods know what.
Before Camden disappears around his house, I call out to him. “When is master and Ronald stopping by?”
Camden turns around, “I asked Nicolas to stop by their homes before we started training. They should be here soon.” After that, he disappears out of my sight.
I need to get back to my practice.
I swing my wooden sword around with one hand. I carved the wooden sword to match the same dimensions as my katana but the weight isn’t the same. I move over to the rock we rested our waterskins on and set my wooden sword down.
I pick up my magic sword that’s resting against the rock. I attach the scabbard to my belt and adjust it until it feels right. It’s important I practice swinging my real sword. I use my wooden sword to spar or practice striking trees but I always practice my form with my real sword.
I get into my ready position. My left hand is holding the top of my scabbard and I use my thumb to lift my sword an inch out of its sheath. I place my left hand on the hilt of my sword and picture a horned hob running at me.
Once the imaginary goblin enters my striking range I draw. The phantom goblin splits horizontally in two and disappears before me. I turn around and face the next goblin who’s running at me wielding a knife. I adjust my stance and bring my sword in to my chest. I make sure my grip is ok before I thrust my sword into the head of the charging goblin.
Another is approaching from the left. I need to…
The imaginary goblin pauses as I look down at my feet. I’m back in the stance I would use for swinging my axe. I messed up again.
I re-sheath my katana. Thanks to Camden I can tell when I use the wrong stance now. The problem I’ve been facing the most is with my footwork. All my running and practicing with my axe has my body subconsciously moving into the wrong position. Wielding an axe is more about power compared to the finesse of a sword.
I take my drawing stance again and freeze when I see a couple of villagers staring right at me.
I can’t believe it took me so long to notice them. I was hoping to finish my training after the main group left, this spot doesn’t do me any favors either. It’s better for Camden to stay close to his house so I’ve done most of my sword practice here. The first day I didn’t even notice anyone watching me but by the time the second day rolled around more than a dozen villagers were waiting to watch my practice with the headman.
The whole village looks at me differently these days. I’m no longer the ‘Little Rabbit’ running around the village. Now I hear whispers of ‘Hob Slayer’ every time I walk through the village and while I practice. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if people revere me or fear me.
People who seemed indifferent to me before the goblin extermination now bow their heads to me or refuse to look me in the eyes.
I’m sad that I loss a good portion of my privacy but I don’t regret my participation during the extermination.
Maybe I should consider this another form of training? I need to get used to using my skills in front of people, well most of them anyways. I still keep my magic skills under wraps.
I prepare to draw my sword again.
In one quick motion, my blade slices the air. I step forward and do an overhead-chop. My arms strain to stop the blade before it touches the ground. Camden told me it’s considered a sin for a swordsman to drop their blade or let it touch the ground. After all my hard work making it, the disappointment I would feel failing to hold up my sword would only be multiplied.
I bring my sword back up and prepare for another strike.
“Miss Aaliyah.” I stop before I can swing my sword again. Looking over, I see Nicolas walking towards me.
“Afternoon, Nicolas.” I greet Camden’s son.
“Thank you. I hope I’m not disturbing your practice but the others have arrived and I was asked to bring you over before the meeting begins.” He glances around the training area and focuses on the few people still watching us.
“Thanks’ for coming to get me. Let me grab my stuff really quick.” I sheath my sword and move over to the rock to retrieve my practice sword and water skin. By the time I turn around the few people that were standing there watching me have already wondered off now that the show is over.
I follow Nicolas around his house and wait for him to lead me inside. “Do you mind if I clean up before we go further?” I ask my chaperon.
“Please.” He easily gives me permission to use my magic.
“Ahyt ls weem appiss!”
The magic quickly goes to work removing the dirt, mud, and sweat covering my body. The rain has become an everyday occurrence, making everything messy, and I can’t use Mana Skin in front of the villagers when I’m practicing swordsmanship.
Feeling refreshed, I follow Nicolas into the drawing-room. Mother and Sarette are sitting next to each other chatting while Master Del and Camden are silently sitting across from them. Ronald is standing off to the side with his usual straight expression.
“Sorry to keep you all waiting.” I address the room as I take an open seat.
“I’m glad everyone could make it. I’d also like to thank Miss Silvia for joining us.” Camden looks like he’s trying to force a smile when he addresses mother. “We can now discuss the three of you scouting the forest tomorrow.”
“Do we really need to have a meeting like this?” I can’t help but question the headman. “We go out and see if the chameleon spiders are moving closer to the village. The three of us already know what we’re doing.” I see a tired look come across Camden’s face.
“I’m very much aware the three of you can handle yourselves. The problem is the village is terrified right now. Everyone keeps asking me whether the forest is safe or not and I don’t have a definitive answer for them. The whole village is looking towards us for answers and I’m sure a crowd will form for your departure tomorrow. This may seem like a trivial thing to you but the three of you are now the guardians of our village. This meeting is to make sure the three of you are prepared for your departure in the sense you’ll reassure whatever crowd forms tomorrow that everything is ok.” Camden looks seriously at the three of us.
“You want master to brandish his magic pickaxe and for me to wield my new sword so everyone sees how strong we are. Is that right?” I tentatively ask.
“Please, we need people to know we can defend the village.” Camden pauses and brings his hands together under his chin, looking nervous. “If possible… could you slay another spider?” Mother and Sarette look accusingly at Camden.
“I was under the impression this was merely a scouting mission. You want them to risk their lives just so you can prove a point to the village!?” Mother looks chillingly at Camden.
“I’m not happy about it either, ok. I have no intention of forcing them to do anything. I was merely asking them if it was possible.” Mother, Camden, Nicolas, and Sarette look between the three of us.
“I was hoping to hunt another one,” I speak out amongst the silence. “If it’s okay with you guys? I want some more of that delicious meat and selling more materials is a huge bonus.” Del and Ronald nod at my suggestion.
“That’s great!” Camden looks ready to jump for joy.
“Hold on a second.” Mother interjects and looks at me. “Will it be dangerous?” Her eyes meet mine. Everything I’ve gone through with mother the last couple of weeks plays through my head. I can’t lie to her again.
“It will be dangerous. The beasts are strong and we can’t be sure everything will work out for us like last time.” Mother frowns at me and I see everyone else looking worried. “We know the spider’s weakness and I promise we won’t do anything crazy. If it looks like we can’t defeat the creature quickly we’ll retreat.”
We share a moment of silence between the two of us before mother lets out a sigh. “Ok,” I’m surprised how easily she relents. “As long as you promise to be careful.”
“Thank you, mom.” Her support means the world to me.
“Excellent, we’re all in agreement then.” Camden ruins the mood.
“I don’t agree.” Mothers frosty words make the headman flinch. “I’m merely supporting my daughter with her decision. If I hear people trying to ‘persuade’ her to do something stupid I’ll make sure she sees reason.” Mother’s eyes narrow at the headman.
“Of course!” Camden shakily responds. “You’re truly an excellent mother.” He wisely stops talking. Don’t mess with a mother karhu.
Everyone is silent after that little argument between the two of them.
I look around at everyone and notice the large warped parcel sitting next to master. “You brought it, Master?” I motion towards the wrapped package.
“I figured it would be a good time to give it to him.” Master moves the hide wrapped package onto the small table in front of us and slides it in my direction.
“What’s that, sweety?” Mother scooches closer to me and looks curiously at the large wrapped bundle.
“Something amazing! Ronald, come over here, please.” The silent man moves closer to our group.
I slowly open the hide covering trying to make it look more dramatic. “Master and I worked on this all week trying to get it to work right.”
“My apprentice likes to challenge both of us.” Master interrupts my monologue and everyone smiles at his joke.
“I know you enjoyed making something different as much as I did.” I finish unwrapping a quiver of arrows and the bow I made with master.
Everyone’s eyes go wide, including Ronald’s when they see the bow.
“What is that!?” Camden exclaims. “I’ve never seen a bow like that before.”
“It’s a recurve bow made with some new materials.” I carefully hoist the bow up so everyone can see it. Even time I see it I’m amazed we managed to pull off making this thing.
“What metal is that?” Nicolas looks amazed at the shiny silvery metal laying in front of me.
“Let me explain what we did.” I carefully set the heavy bow back on the table. “This beast weighs 30 pounds. It’s five feet from tip to tip and the body is made from steel mixed with the carapace of the chameleon spiders. We tried making it out of our best steel but it wasn’t flexing like we wanted. We were tossing ideas back and forth when I had the idea to try using our new steel mixture. The steel is mixed with the spider’s armor and after four tries we got the composition right it’s strong enough you can slam it up against a tree but still flexible enough to retain its shape after it’s subjected to the force of shooting the arrows.” Mother and Sarette are still gushing about the beautiful polished silver design on the body while the men are more interested in the technical aspects.
“The string was also woven from the sinew we recovered from the chameleon spider.” I lift the bow back up and move to draw the bowstring, it barely moves for me. “To draw the bow, you need 140 Strength. Master had to be the one to string this monster because I don’t have the stats to do it. The force this thing launches an arrow at is incredible.”
I set the bow back down again and reach for the quiver of arrows I brought with it. “Your average arrows can’t handle the force the bow exerts, so I made you some new arrows to go along with your new bow.” I pull one of the twenty arrows out of the quiver. “The shaft of the arrows I made are also made from the spider steel but we used different proportions of carapace in the mixture to make it stronger so it can endure the force when you release your shot.”
I hand the arrow over to Ronald so he can inspect it. He holds the arrow up to his eye examining the straightness of the shaft. “I made sure each was perfectly straight.” Ronald nods at my claim. “If you’ll look at the arrow tip, you’ll see the true magic of it. The arrow head is designed to help the arrow twist not only through the air but also when it hits its target. The broad head arrow has a single beveled design, making the edges slant on both sides. When the arrow strikes something, it rotates into the wound and penetrates deep, causing a bigger wound. I call it a helix arrow head.” 
Ronald examines the arrowhead and moves his finger closer to the blade. “Try spinning the arrowhead to the left.” Ronald looks confused but follows my directions. His surprised expression when the arrowhead unscrews from the shaft is worth all the work we did to make that possible. “Each arrow and shaft has its own fittings that allow you to swap them out. If you need more shafts, I can make them separately or if you want a new arrowhead you can change them out depending on what you’re doing.”
“The fletching is again made from the carapace of the chameleon spiders. The fins are made from sculpted carapace that we melted in the fire. It took us a long time to get the fletching shaped just right.” I eagerly await his thoughts on the arrow.
“Good arrow,” he says as he reattaches the arrowhead. A pressure I wasn’t aware I was feeling is lifted with his two words.
“I made sure to take my time and sharpen each arrow to the point they’ll cut any soft surface with ease. The bottom of the quiver has hide in it so you’ll need to replace it once a year but it will protect the arrows when you place them in. I’ll make more arrows for you later. I hope twenty will be enough for now?”
Ronald bends over and picks up his new bow. “It’s fine, you did an amazing job. This is the most amazing bow I’ve ever seen.” All of us are staring at Ronald. He’s too busy examining the bow and I don’t think he realizes how much he just said.
“Master and I worked really hard on it, I’m happy you’re happy.” I smile as Ronald takes his stance and knocks his arrow. His arms are tense as he slowly draws the bow, bringing his fingers up to his face.
He slowly releases the tension on his string and sets the arrow back into his new quiver. Back on Earth, a bow like this could be made but it would be impractical. I wish I had a way to measure how fast this bow can release an arrow. I just hope it’s enough to harm the chameleon spiders we’ll be hunting tomorrow.
“Now each of us has a cool weapon to show off tomorrow morning.” Del and I smile at each other and I can see Ronald smirking down at his bow. We both went out of our comfort zones to make this weapon. I had to learn multiple new things about customizing a bow for someone. I asked Ronald for his strength stat but it wasn’t until we started to make it, I was told I need to get his draw length. Draw length is how far back the bowstring will be pulled back to fire the bow. The draw length also played a huge part in the arrows I had to make. Having arrows exactly long enough to be fully drawn without the arrowhead touching the arrow rest was something I never thought of before this build.
I’m sure a bowyer could make something better but we did the best with the materials we were most accustomed to.
“Does anyone have anything else to say before we adjourn for the day.” Camden looks around the room.
“I was wondering if you can do me a favor now that you mention it,” I ask the headman.
“Name it and I’ll do whatever I can to help!” That’s more exciting than I was expecting.
“Nothing too big. I was wondering if you can convince Kervin to wait for my return if he shows up while we’re gone. Let him know I have a lot of business for him.”
“I’m sure he’ll be excited to await your return,” Camden assures me.
“He’ll want to get his hands on your magic beast materials. He would have to be a horrible merchant to pass over such an opportunity. That said, don’t take too long to return, sweety.” Mother leans over and puts her hand on top of mine.
“Wouldn’t dream of it, mother.”
Alright spiders, watch out. Round two starts tomorrow!
Thankfully there were no speeches when we gathered the next morning. The three of us walk into the forest with our weapons drawn. None of us want to look back at the faces watching us fade into the trees.
When Camden said that there would be a crowd when we departed, I imagined a dozen or so people like during my sparring sessions, not half the village!
We gathered in front of the headman’s house and slowly made our way over to the tip of the fields. The closer we made it to the trees the more the group following us increased. Even the rain that began to fall didn’t deter the crowd from following us.
We’re going hunting for a spider, not a dragon.
The three of us are side by side as we move deeper into the forest.
I look behind us and scan our surroundings for anyone who decided to follow us. “I don’t see anyone. What about you Ronald?”
“Then that means we’re clear.” Master visibly relaxes and Ronald and I do the same.
“I hope that doesn’t happen every time we do this,” I complain. Out of sight from everyone, I sheath my sword. Ronald moves his new bow onto his back and Master Del follows his example doing the same with his pickaxe.
We don’t need to keep our weapons drawn for now. Our goal is to move fast and get closer to the area we last spotted the closest chameleon spider.
“Which way Ronald?” I look around our surroundings.
“There,” he points to my left.
“Same formation as last time?” I turn and grin to my companions.
“Sounds good to me,” master says and I get a nod from Ronald.
We take up our old positions, I’m in front scanning the trees with my mana sense and Ronald is directing me from behind. The three of us let loose and dash through the trees.
The three of us move as one at an unprecedented pace.
It only takes us eight hours to reach the edge of the area the hunters usually stick to. We slow our pace and move deeper into the forest.
“Do you guys think we should stop and make camp soon?” I ask over my shoulder.
“Why would we stop now? You tired already?” Master quips behind me.
“If we’re going to be doing this every month, we should make a camp that we can easily access during each trip.”
“We should move a little deeper than, don’t you think?” Master gives me his two cents, I mean copper.
“Up ahead, good spot.” Ronald points into the distance.
It takes us thirty minutes to find Ronald’s spot. It’s a large karhu burrow that looks abandoned. We’ll need to shore up the sides but it could make for a great place to camp when the weather takes a turn for the worst. The rain has stopped for now but it’s been coming and going all day.
The three of us spend the rest of the day sprucing up our hole in the ground. Some large logs from a nearby tree make the perfect frame for our den. Karhu are big enough that we didn’t need to excavate any more room. A firepit is placed a foot outside the cave for cooking and our stats should keep us warm with the help of a few blankets, as long as we stay out of the wind.
It started to rain again and I’m not looking forward to hunting tomorrow if this downpour continues.
We sit down after we finish the construction and pull out our rations for the night. While eating my jerky I double-check the strategy for tomorrow. “Are we sticking to the same plan as last time?” I ask Ronald and Del.
“Are you talking about fighting the chameleon spiders?” Master takes a swig from the flask he brought.
“Of course, I’m talking about the chameleon spider, what else would we discuss?”
Master shrugs his shoulders. “I don’t know? We could talk about our watch shifts, our searching strategy for tomorrow, or maybe we can discuss the weather. You can pick a topic.” Master gives me a sarcastic look.
“Funny. I was thinking more about me blasting the spider with earth magic and one of you torching it.” I deadpan.
“Same as last time then.” Master smiles at me.
“If it’s not broken, why fix it?” I point out to master.
“Sounds good to me, what about you Ronald?” Master looks over at our expert hunter. He’s also eating jerky but stroking his new bow on his lap.
He looks up and then down at his bow again. It doesn’t take a genius to realize he wants to try it out.
“Two of us have new weapons. I say we start off the same. Master and I will each attack the legs and Ronald will lay down some cover fire with his bow. I’ll back up and cast my spell, then master can toss the torch we brought and finish it off. Easy peasy.”
We all agree on the plan. Master Del and I continue with our small talk the rest of the night until our watch shifts start. It feels almost like we never left the forest after the goblin extermination.
“Well, this sucks.” I’m standing at the mouth of our cave. The sky is dark grey and not a single ray of sunlight makes it through the clouds. There’s so much rain I can only guess the gods must be pissing on us right now.
Master and Ronald walk up next to me. “It’s not that bad,” master says. Ronald and I just look at him with our straight faces. “Your faces look the same!” Master immediately starts laughing and I can’t hold back my own smile.
I activate Mana Skin and step into the pouring rain.
Master and Ronald pull up their raincoats and follow me into the forest.
We zig-zag through the trees making sure we cover as much ground as possible. If we’re lucky we won’t find anything all day and will have to move to our next campsite. The farther we make it from the village without spotting a chameleon spider the better for the village.
“Your skill isn’t fair,” Master complains behind me.
I turn around and see two soggy men following me. “I’m sorry you're jealous about my skill.” I humph and face forwards.
“Your right, I am jealous.” Masters sad voice cuts through the rain and into my heart.
“I’m sorry, mas…” I cut myself off when I turn around and face him. Instead of a depressed Del, master is smiling at me.
“I may be a little jealous but I have more pride than jealousy for my monstrous disciple.” I turn back around before he can see me blush.
“Thank you, master. It means a lot that…” I freeze in my tracks.
Master and Ronald see me stop. They both move directly behind me as quietly as possible so we can whisper to each other.
“Ahead to the left.” I point out the camouflaged spider leg to my companions.
This isn’t good! We’re only an hour from our campsite. The spiders are definitely closing in on the village.
We slowly move over to the spider without entering its striking range. I point out the legs I can see and follow them up to the main body of the spider. The canopy isn’t as thick this far into the forest and only a quarter of its body is behind some branches and leaves. I deactivate my Sense Mana skill and realize the main body of the spider is completely invisible amongst its surroundings. Damn, they don’t need a dense canopy to hide.
At least the horrible weather is helping a little. You can see the rain bouncing off the carapace if you look closely enough.
I pull out our torch and light it with my magic before the rain can soak it too much.
“Llaif gamfr ol e nnamse!”
We each know what our jobs are. I take up my position after charging master’s pickaxe.
I had to use my skills last time to cut through the spider’s leg. The only skill I’ve practiced with my sword is Precise Strike, I hope it will be enough. I see master out of the corner of my eye readying his stance.
Just like working together, we don’t need to communicate to synchronize our swings. We both attack at the same time.
I inject mana into my sword and activate Precise Strike. My blade bursts into flames as it clashes against the spiders camouflaged leg. I feel the resistance when my katana makes contact. My sword makes it three quarters of the way through the leg before I need to draw my sword back. That’s better than the last time I attacked the other spider.
The shrill scream of the spider doesn’t keep me from striking the leg again, this time I sever the leg completely. I use Flash Step and avoid the remaining part of the limb trying to hit me.
With some distance between us, I look at the stump of the leg on the spider. The place I cut the carapace is slowly burning. My magic sword worked!
Master jumps back and appears at my side. He managed to sever three legs this time. The pissed spider charges us on its remaining six legs.
The twang of a loud bowstring fills the air and an arrow appears in one of the spider’s eyes. I quickly glance at Ronald and see him smiling while he knocks another arrow back. Last time he could barely do anything against the spider’s carapace and quick movements. I’m glad the new bow was a success.
I switch places with Ronald, he and Del distract the creature while I start chanting.
“I summon the power of the earth. I give 400 of my mana to use your great power. I call the element magnesium before me in the form of a powder. I shape the powder into a ball a foot in diameter in the palm of my hand. The ball will be covered in a shell made from wind mana and will be shot in a straight motion at 100 ft per second. Execute in five seconds.”
The mana leaves my body and the spell forms in my palm. “I’m ready!” I shout to Ronald and Del.
They both jump back as the ball of magnesium dust rockets out of my hand. The spider moves slightly and the ball strikes the bottom of the spider rather than its face.
“Your turn, master!” I watch Del grab the torch I prepared earlier. A small explosion of mud happens when master launches himself at the spider with incredible force.
He makes it under the beast and prepares to torch the fucker.
“Watch out,” I scream as the spider tries crushing master with its body! Master makes it out from under the beast but can’t dodge one of the spider’s legs coming at him. Master tries to block the leg with his pickaxe but the force of the strike sends him skidding against the wet forest floor. He impacts a tree so hard the bark is pulverized.
Worse, he dropped the torch during the skirmish. The torch went out as sone as it fell in the mud.
“Ronald, Piss it off more!” I shout at the hunter while I try to run towards to Del.
His bow snaps again and an arrow pierces into another one of the spider’s eyes. The beast turns away from master and charges us. Ronald takes some distance and I use Double Step to slash/evade another one of its limbs.
Another arrow hits the spider in one of its joints distracting it long enough for me to reach master, who looks slow getting to his feet. His armor is dented and a steady stream of blood is dripping off of his face.
“You ok!?” I help him to his feet.
“I’ll be fine. I lost the torch!”
“I’ll have to light it with my sword. I need you and Ronald to keep it distracted!”
“Ok!” Master raises his pickaxe and charges the beast again.
I need to hurry, the magnesium may be waterproof once it catches fire but every second it's not lit the rain washes part of it off!
I break into a run and try to get behind the spider. I’m not sure if my sword can stand the magnesium fire so I can’t just throw it at the carapace.
I wait for it to lunge at master before I rush the creature!
I make it underneath but I need to jump to reach the part where my spell hit. I’m about to launch myself up when the carapace starts crashing down towards me. In the corner of my eye I see the eyes of the spider focusing on me.
“Oh shit!” I raise up my flaming sword in an overhead striking motion. I move towards the head of the creature as I feel the carapace make contact with my sword’s tip. I feel the heat form the magnesium igniting above me as I reach the open jaws of the creature.
Sorry, but I don’t feel like being eaten today!
“Flash Step!” I shout out and swerve around the jaws of the beast. I can’t fully clear the body of the spider with my skill, so I push off of the ground with as much Strength I can muster after using my skill. I momentarily fly through the air before I hit the muddy ground. I curl into a ball and skid around on the forest floor, feeling my Mana Skin being ripped away in chunks.
Master grabs me and pulls me away from the flailing spider. The cries of the burning beast are muffled by the heavy rainfall. Sparks dance across the carapace as water comes in contact with the magnesium.
The fire only lasts 37 seconds this time, it took us too long to light the magnesium. The spider isn’t dead yet but it’s very close.
It takes us five minutes to slash away the spiders remaining health before it finally stops moving.
That’s what we get for planning ahead.
I look at the corpse of the magic beast. The exposed flesh of the creature is still steaming and I’m suddenly hungry.
I have a feeling I’ll get plenty of spider meat in the coming months.