Each powerful beat of its wings pushed the Nettelhawk King further from the reach of the earth.
“NO!” Bloom's hands worked fast, shooting another arrow at the enormous bird, but the projectile lost against the barrier of wind surrounding it. She gritted her teeth, switching to her sword, and dashed forward. The wind pushed against her. Tightening her fingers around the hilt, she slashed out, sending a [Crescent Slash] at the rising bird. The bright blade of flame cut through the wind barrier. It left a deep, bloody gash on the hawk’s claws.
[Damage Dealt: 588]
The creature screamed, more in anger than pain. Bloom glared at the bloody wound she’d made as its wings battered the air faster and faster to push it upwards. Her heart clenched with a pang of regret. After going through so much to bring it down...
Just a bit more.
If the paralysis had lasted a few more minutes, she could’ve...
She sighed, feeling incredibly hollow inside as she watched the bird take its place back in the sky.
Would it escape? Or...
The hawk’s remaining golden eye glared down at her brown ones. Bloom clenched her fists. Besides anger and hatred, another something lurked in that soccer sized orb.
It won’t escape. After all the suffering she’d caused it, it won’t let her go so simply, would it?
Bloom’s sword changed to bow. She drew another arrow from her quiver, but before the notch could even touch the string, something she didn’t want happening happened. The Ruler of the Skies showed its true strength. The huge wings went up, covering the sky with their monstrous size, then came down. It fanned them again and again, and the surrounding wind rose and twisted.
Sand rose in a spiral around Bloom, clouding around her, blocking the daylight, and as the wind gathered momentum, even gravel and smaller rocks rejected the hold of gravity. It grew fiercer and fiercer, each gust battering her face, her back, her legs, making her lose balance and stumble around like a drunk. One of them struck her feet, fast and heavy like a hammer strike, sweeping them from under her.
“Shit!” Bloom cursed, trying to catch herself, but her back hit the stony ground and left her dazed and gasping for breath. She inhaled, scowling at the fierce whirlwind raging around her. As she got back to her feet, hundreds of sharp, golden tipped feathers detached from the behemoth’s body, shining like short swords. They whizzed through the surrounding storm, attacking her like the blades of a meat grinder.
Her focus peaked. She stove off most of them with the quick swordplay of [Flash Sword], but a few still breached her defences. They sliced through her clothes, leaving bloody lines on her skin, whittling down her health in short bursts of pain. It was a dangerous situation to be in. The [Tempest of Blades], an area of effect attack that had nearly killed her the first time she faced this... bird king of the grand canyon.
But this is just an appetiser, isn't it?
The health bar above her was nearly half empty. That won't do.
She took out the last potion vial, gulping down the red strawberry flavoured liquid with a grimace. With only sixty per cent left, her magic points weren’t doing so great either. But she had no magic potion left. As for the recovery...
So damn slow!
She crouched, ready with eyes sharpened, ears perked, alert for the slightest sign of...
Something invisible cut through the sandy curtain behind Bloom, darting towards her. It was fast. Far faster than the blistering storm wind. Bloom ducked, barely rolling away as it left a thin, deep scar in the ground mere inches from her.
Wind blade! Nettlehawk kings true trump card.
They lurked, waiting for the most unexpected moments, striking from the uncanniest of angles. Just one of them nearly ended her when she first confronted the hawk.
The beast was almost invincible in midair. Worst, she couldn’t attack it back at all.
Maybe I should’ve taken that damn [Archer] class. There were skills in it that could’ve helped, from what she’d read on thoughtnet.
She didn’t dwell on the thought and instead glanced at the blue bar once again.
A smile of relief appeared on her lips. The sword was back in her hand. Red fire coiled along its edge, concentrating until it thrummed with power. She looked up at the golden eye still fixed on her. But instead of smugness, there was a sudden alarm in it.
The Nettelhawk king sensed the threat from the weapon! Exactly like the one that had sent it crashing on earth, helpless against the attack of the weak creature below.
The memory of the pain came back at full force, driving away its desire to kill. It squawked, the constant flap of its wings faltering. The storm disappeared. The [Tempest of Blades] abated like smoke in the wind, but it didn’t care. It turned around with a single beat of its wings, retreating towards the depth of the canyon.
“Oh no, you don’t!” Bloom lifted the sword, slashing it towards the creature.
The valley shone. A bright red sun rose, turning the few feathers still lingering in the air into ashes in a flash. It shot up like a wheel of fire, a bleeding red wound in the heart of the sky, splitting it apart into two, and the Ruler of Skies fell right in the middle of the wound.
It had no chance to escape.
[Damage dealt: 3398]
[You have defeated King Nettlehawk(Ruler of The Skies)]
[You have defeated a titled enemy]
[Acquired feather(s) of Nettlehawk x5]
[Acquired feather(s) of Nettlehawk King x1]
[Acquired claw(s) of Nettlehawk King x1]
[Acquired Treasure Chest Key(Silver)]
[Aquired Beast Pearl(Green)]
Bloom fell to the ground, her eyes fixed on the burning body of the great beast plummeting to its death.
“Gotcha! Stupid bird.”
Atop the tallest peak of the desolate landscape stood a single dry, leafless husk of a tree. And on top of its tallest branch was a giant nest of thorns and brambles, big enough for a sizable swimming pool.
The bramble hawk king’s nest.
Bloom stood inside the nest and looked around. Heaps of branches, leaves, and hay, broken weaponry, big and small pieces of bone and feather- the place was a mess. It was the first place she’d sneaked into even before defeating the other hawks. Of course, that stupid bird king had chased her nearly to death, but that was another matter. In the middle of the heaps of garbage all around her was her goal.
The treasure chest.
Similar to the one from the Grasslion King in size, but instead of wood, it was silver. And instead of lion markings all over its body, this one had hawks. Bloom knelt, taking out the silver key from her inventory, and stuck it into the keyhole.
The lid of the box lifted slowly. A gentle silver light flashed from inside it for a second before disappearing.
[Acquired Gold: 650]
[Acquired Necklace of Lightness]
[Acquired Normal Healing Potion x3]
[Acquired Normal Mana Potion]
[Acquired Beast Egg]
Bloom frowned. She opened the inventory and took the object out, studying it with interest. Roughly seven to eight inches, the grey ovular object had green and black streaks shining all over its smooth shell.
So that’s what an egg looks like!