The radiant arc of glistering yellow came from out of nowhere. It traveled at an astonishing speed and connected with a bunch of those rubbery tentacles. They were in the process of wrapping around some screaming caravan travelers but were cleanly severed by the thin arch of energy.
Roland had witnessed similar techniques in his life and this seemed to be some kind of cutting skill. The bright golden color made it stick out from the rest as it mostly represented the divine or the holy element. Energy attacks like this took on the coloring of their respective element. When there was no element mana took on a pale blue color instead.
“Is that a woman? Did we have someone with us like that?”
Senna the halfling was the first one to point toward the person that produced this long-range attack. Just a moment ago running away was the only option but now there seemed to be someone on the level of this monster helping them out. To his surprise, he knew who this person was.
“It’s the girl from the guild?”
The previously tied up har had been loosened and their color had changed into a bright yellow. Her hazel eyes had turned into a brighter tint of dark yellow as well. Yet the most eye-catching thing about her was the bright golden weapon that she was holding. From this location, it looked like a condensed beam of light but it wasn’t quite that.
‘Is that a concentrated aura blade?’
Melaina L 68
T2 Analyst L18
T1 Accountant L25
T1 Villager L25
Before Roland made any speculations he activated his identification skill once more. There as before he only received mundane classes and stats. It was clear that the person there was not an Analyst but possessed a higher tier battle class. Some kind of item was used to fool his analyzing skill and he didn’t even notice that anything was wrong.
If her name was actually Melaina was also up to debate. For now, she looked like an ally but was she strong enough to defeat this malformed monster. In her right hand, she was holding a hilt of a sword. From the hilt, a bright golden radiant crystallization was shooting out. To the untrained eye, it might have looked like some kind of laser sword but it was not made from light.
This was an advanced aura skill used by various classes possessing it. From what Roland had read it could materialize an insanely hard weapon. The most common was a sharp blade that could even slice through mithril depending on the person using it. Then there was the color which made it seem that this woman was related to the church and the words that she spoke confirmed this.
“Filthy creature of the Abyss you will not take any more lives, this I swear on the name of Solaria!”
Her voice was stern, she did not sound like the ditzy untrained guild worker that he met before. It was now clear that this woman was good at acting the part of an inexperienced guild instructor but in reality, she was a somewhat battle-hardened member of the church.
“Is that woman part of the Solaira church? Could she be from the golden order?”
Orson asked while standing to the side. While the ray of light sliced through the monster its attention shifted to the new foe and gave everyone here some time to think.
“The golden order?”
Grisalde asked without knowing what the human was talking about.
“You don’t know who the knights of the golden order are? You really are stupid, how did you survive this long.”
Replied the halfling while narrowing her eyes.
“Why you little…”
“Stop it, now is not the time to argue that woman might be from the golden order but that doesn’t mean that she can defeat that tier 3 monster alone.”
Roland was quick to interrupt the two idiots from having a fight in the middle of a life and death situation. While no one explained he already knew of this order of knights that belonged to the church. They were handpicked by the church and acted as judges, juries, and executioners whenever the occult was involved.
They were a small group of powerful individuals that possessed specialized skills and classes. If they wished they could rally troops belonging to the church and also to the nobles. The kingdom had a symbiotic relationship with its main religion thus lending aid to their strongest members was a given.
Even within this knight order, there was a distinction between positions. The most influential members were the golden inquisitors that only answered to the pope. How far into their ranks this woman reached was unknown to him. Why she was here alone in the middle of nowhere was also a big question.
‘Did she know that the Abyssal Cult was here? But wouldn’t it be better to gather a large force to take them out instead of going in solo? She was also affected by the illusionary relic…’
Roland did not have enough information to figure out how this person ended up here. For all he knew she was undercover for a different reason and this was just a coincidence. But this worked in his favor as now the battle might not be hopeless.
While the tentacles that surrounded the whole area still remained they didn’t seem as active as before. The monster was focusing its attention on the woman that was able to wound it. The appendages that she had slipped through also seem to be affected by the golden energy as they weren’t regenerating at all.
Finally, she charged forward, her foot hit the ground and created a small indenture. Her speed was truly tremendous, not even Roland who could boost his agility with his runic armor would be able to reach such speeds. However, the monster she was facing wasn’t a slouch either.
The multiple tendrils and tentacles shot out instantly while the monstrosity cried out with its many mouths. It was as if a hail of bullets was coming her way but she did not stop with her advance instead she just lowered herself to minimize any potential points of impact while also increasing her speed.
While a normal person would have been instantly impaled and absorbed by the monster she was able to outpace it. The tendrils connected with the ground under her while she slipped past them. Yet she did not get past unscathed, some of them managed to graze her body.
These monster attacks were shooting out in rapid succession. She did not manage to dodge them all as she sustained some grazing wounds. Even then she continued to get close all the way until she was in close quarters combat range.
‘Why is she getting so close…could she be…’
Roland wasn’t sure why Melaina was rushing into danger this much. After showing off that ranged attack it made sense to keep distance and use it more often. It was capable of slicing through multiple tentacles at once and posed a real threat to the monster. That is if she could fire it off repeatedly.
‘Is she tired or something? Not like she participated in the previous fight but wait… I don’t recall seeing her in the temple…’
When thinking back to the temple ritual he didn’t remember seeing the woman there. He focused mostly on the cultists and the people having the leeches inserted into them. There was a small pile of people that had already passed to the side which he did not examine as much.
‘Could that be it? Is it still inside her head or did she get it out?’
He didn’t really have the chance to check on the affected people yet. The cultists chased him down to the other side of the double helix. The woman might be having problems with brain slugs while fighting or had removed it at a cost. Would she be able to defeat the monster in her weakened state?
After managing to force her way through the mass of tentacles she was now standing a few meters away from the large creature. Her sword finally shot out towards her enemy which protected its main body with a mass of squiggly things. Yet the sword still managed to plow through most of them along with injuring the monster's main body.
The creature let out a massive howl while thrashing about. It seemed that the monster was on the ropes as the cage that it formed with its body was retracted. It was defending itself by calling back the appendages that it spread through the underground of this village.
“We must run away, now is our chance.”
Roland turned to the voice from afar that belonged to the guard captain that was somehow still alive. The caravan owner was also there and the moment the fleshy prison bars were gone they made a run for it while abandoning anyone else.
“Shouldn’t we also go?”
Orson looked to Dalrak, the coast was clear and they could escape now. Even if the woman from the golden order didn’t win they would be able to survive. It didn’t seem that the monster could move that huge body that fast. If they got out of the range of its many tentacles they would be safe.
The other remaining adventurers and travelers were already scattering to the sides. Some were going towards the surrounding woods while others went back to the wagons. The animals were going crazy but if handled right could still be used for a faster escape.
“That girl is going to die.”
Grisalde commented while looking, it seemed that she also noticed that the blond was getting slower by the second. She was like a candle flame that burns the brightest before it dies. Perhaps she had an ace up her sleeve but from outside it looked like her stamina would run out faster than the monsters would.
“What are you talking about, you idiot? Even if she is going to die, what will you do?”
Senna asked while backing away, she was not willing to stay for much longer. This was the right choice as there was no way anyone here could intervene in a tier 3 battle. They were in separate worlds, they would only be turned to the monster's food and help it regenerate.
“I didn’t say I would do anything, you twerp…”
Grisalde did the same, even though she was a strong barbarian there was nothing that she could do here either. It was better to live to fight another day, everyone seemed to be in agreement as they started to back away but one of them stepped forward.
“Hey where are you going, that’s where the squiggly monster is…”
Asked Senna along with the others as they saw Roland step forward while placing a gem into the small chest cavity on the front.
“Uh, go ahead I won’t be far behind, I just need to do something first.”
While he realized that what he was about to do wasn’t the smartest it was also a chance to gain an ally. If he just left and this knight here died he worried that the Abyssal cult would just ransack this place. The creature was probably created to keep this place a secret and it would most likely destroy the relic that caused those illusions to happen.
Roland was getting tired of running away. It never really solved any problems, just pushed them towards another date. The longer he didn’t face reality the worse the future would be. He would not be surprised if the cultists got ahold of the passenger list of this caravan and then started assassinating each one of them after this was over.
How could he prevent this from happening? Ether by running again and keeping a low profile for another couple of years or giving the cult other things to worry about. Their biggest secret was this cursed relic of theirs. Without it, they would not be able to carry out their assassinations. If he could help this woman defeat this monster then perhaps the cult’s biggest asset would be exposed.
While he had inserted the gem into his armor it was not as powerful as he had hoped for. To deliver a meaningful blow to the monster he needed to get closer. Luckily his enemy was preoccupied with the blond church member. Her aura sword was turning the tentacles into mincemeat but the creature had many to spare. After feeding on some adventurer corpses it was managing to cope with that radiant blade of light.
"There he goes..."
The small group of adventurers looked at each other while Roland moved forward. Even though none of them were willing to get closer to the monster they all still remained in close proximity wondering what their new friend was trying to achieve. After activating all of the cloaking spells that he had in his possession he slowly snekead towards the center of the battle area. The closer he got the more outlandish the battle seemed to him. He could barely see the blurry tentacles flying around yet the woman even in her weakened state was able to bat them away with the help of her swordsmanship.
She did not seem to have any grand skills besides the ranged attack she performed a few times. It was swordsmanship and quick movement that she was relying on to keep herself going. Regretfully the decrease in speed was starting to be noticeable, even though the monster was getting cut she was unable to find the core to finish it off.
‘This thing’s weak point must be changing locations…’
If this monster was similar to a slime then it had some kind of core that if destroyed would cause it to die. But while slimes were transparent and their core was easy to spot, this thing was pitch black with many eyes, mouths, and tendrils. Finding its core in such a chaotic battle would be almost impossible. That’s why burning through its body with magical energy could be the best choice.
“Hey I don’t know who you really are but if you can hear me, dodge!”
Finally, he found his opportunity to strike. The same long-range spell was activated, and the runes started burning into the metal yet again as they shifted from blue to red from being overloaded. His Goliath Slayer title was probably increasing his damage as the creature out-leveled him by quite a bit. The monster was focusing on the front where the aura user was so he decided to aim right for its back.
The wide drill-like beam shot out yet again but now with even more mana behind it. After drinking some mana recovering potions he decided to go for broke. Previously he took his entire mana pool below fifty percent now he would push it further down. The energy arcs gained in thickness as they continued to destroy the ground he was standing around as he continued to pump out his spell.
But to his surprise, a bunch of tentacles shot out just in time to protect the monster’s body from behind. Yet he did not stop and as he continued to prolong the attack he drilled itself into those thick rubber-like appendages before breaking them. At about this point in time he lost his footing as the strain on his body had gotten too high and a splitting headache caused him to crumble to the ground.
A resounding explosion rocked the entire area and it was quickly followed by another huge scream coming from the monster. It was hurt and part of its body evaporated yet again but instead of dying it continued to flail around those tentacles that were now on a collision course with the one injuring it.
Before the monster’s retaliation began though the person on the other side counter-attacked as well. The moment that Roland gave her was enough, her sword moved at an astonishing speed to connect with the now exposed weakened spot. During the explosion, it had become apparent and now it had been cleaved in two by the golden blade made from aura.
Almost as if time had stopped, the tentacles halted their advance. Roland, who had stumbled down to one knee, looked up to see a pointy spear of dark flesh just a few centimeters away from his eyes. Soon it started crumbling into dust as if it was burned away by a massive fire. The moment the monster’s core was destroyed its life was over, it could not even groan as it disintegrated before his eyes.
The battle at the village finally reached its conclusion and the two responsible for it were looking at each other. One was an unsuspecting runesmith that didn’t want to stand out and the other was a supposed guild worker that just came to grade a test.