Sweat running down his back, Daichi felt pressured like he never had before.
As Daichi began running away from them towards the forest, Hannah took advantage and rushed at the trolls that had been hurt by their leader. She picked off one troll at a time diving into the ground and touching a leg or an arm hoping nothing was trying to attack her in the chaos.
Ava hesitated but noticing Hannah’s vigor, she didn’t want to get left behind.
Rushing forward Ava was unfortunate to run into the one troll that had managed to take no damage as it had simply been pushed into the ground by another troll that was hit into him.
As it was getting up, Ava dove into the ground as she had seen Hannah do earlier and applied both hands of her melt skill onto the the back of the left knee of the troll.
Shrieking in agony, the level up had become quite effective as by the time Ava hit the ground she had squeezed her fists and melted the the leg off at the knee.
The troll shrieked in pain as it toppled over and reached for it’s missing leg in agony!
Not caring at all about the troll’s pain, Ava jumped on top of it and melted her way through it’s chest until she was all the way through it’s back and into the ground.
Close enough to feel it’s breath, the troll tried to bite her face off with it’s last breath and action but sadly was an inch away from her nose.
Feeling the disgusting odor from it’s mouth and the crushing of it’s teeth so close to her, Ava screamed and backed up immediately. Realizing how close she had been to dying at that very second, Ava could feel her breakfast rushing upwards, and despite her best efforts she threw up into her hands.
Feeling the melted flesh in her hands meld with what had been her breakfast until just a second ago, Ava felt utterly disgusted and horrified.
Only until Hannah screamed at her “MOVE NOW AVA!” Did Ava come to her senses.
Tears welling up at the corners of her eyes. Ava ignored her feelings and, feeling empty. She moved forward to attack the next closest troll.
Hannah had been moving from one troll onto another, taking most of her damage from her jumps as she hit the ground hard trying to avoid random swings from the trolls.
Hannah killed two trolls with ease. She moved with no hesitation, fueled by her desire to get stronger.
Moving forward she came across a troll that was getting up despite it’s face being a total wreckage, dark red blood flowing from it’s nose. Teeth had fallen out and blood was dripping down the side of it’s lips as it’s eyes were at half-mass.
Moving towards it before it come come to it’s senses Hannah dived at the troll and touching it’s knee before she felt pressure on her side. The troll had barely hit her, but that slight contact was enough to knock her shoulder out of place.
Falling onto the ground Hannah tilted her body to fall on the uninjured side. Hannah clenched her teeth and reactivated her skill as she grabbed it’s thigh and killed it on the spot as she felt anger and hatred welling up inside of her.
As hannah was laying on her side she noticed Ava on the ground nearly in tears as another troll shaking it’s on it’s knees in confusion near her. Ava was clearly in shock, Hannah immediately screamed at her “MOVE NOW AVA!”
As she herself moved forward and attacked the last troll that had been an arm torn off by the purple troll’s rampage. Throwing herself onto it’s back with the pain in her shoulder making her gag in process… Hannah activated her skill again feeling exhausted.
After coming to her senses and focusing on the remaining trolls. Ava pushed her fear and moved numbly forward.
A troll on it’s knees was shaking it’s head as if trying to come to it’s senses and Ava moved her hands forward with her skill activated.
Grabbing it’s neck and melting it off… Until she felt what had to be it’s spine, the last the remnant of resistance being melted with almost the same ease. It’s head fell forward and it’s body crumpled forward onto itself.
Feeling nothing and walking forward like a zombie, Ava looked around and then headed for the last troll. The last one alive. She had it in her sights and walking forward as if this troll was all she could see. she stumbled forward a few times on her own legs unable to stop them from trembling.
Finally reaching it, she looked down and noticed small details.
It’s chest caved in. It was wheezing. It was suffocating. It was dying.
Falling to her knees, she reached out to it and stroked it’s cheek gently, she could see the panic manifested in it’s eyes. It knew it was dying. It was feeling fear. Fear of what was coming.
Finally granting it mercy, Ava activated her skill with hand already on it’s face as it bellowed silently unable to make any noise as Ava moved her hand slowly from it’s face as it melted away at her touch down to it’s jugular and then clean through.
It struggled to make any noise, unable to voice it’s pain until it’s eyes rolled over finally put out of it’s misery.
The mare had been confused by Daichi’s plan. There were too many enemies, all of them formidable.
Watching his back as he ran forward towards the large group of trolls, the mare were stunned at this human’s thinking.
In their eyes this was a foolish course of action. There were too many trolls for them to successfully fight them all efficiently.
Knowing their own limitations against this kind of opponent, the mare watched stunned as Daichi changed directions and headed for their leader. He possessed more mana than the others, and gave off an aura of superiority to these other trolls.
Upon seeing him attack him, and the mana in the troll suddenly disperse into the surroundings. The mare were instantly captivated!
The troll is willingly releasing all of its mana and life! This is absurd! The mare thought.
Seeing it begin to chase Daichi, the other trolls they were supposed to temporarily distract regained their composure and seeing their leader lose himself in anger and go into a rampage. They followed suit and started charging at the mare and Kaden.
Suddenly having six angry trolls rushing at him, Kaden felt a bit intimidated. This was a bad plan. A terrible plan he thought.
The mare and Kaden moved out of the way of the charging trolls and began to weave in and out of their grasp as some of them attacked with their bare hands while a few of the others swung large crude clubs at them.
Feeling pressured on every swing, Kaden couldn’t hold off long despite this being his style of combat. The trolls were too big for him to try to deal any damage with his speed and knives.
Unable to do nothing but dodge as more than one troll took large swings at him, Kaden decided the best way to buy time would be to run away as Daichi had while the others could regroup.
Beginning to run in the direction the trolls had come, Kaden ran towards the left side of the lake. Taking a glance as he ran at Hannah, he noticed she was in as much if not more danger than him.
Clenching his fists teeth and biting his lip. Kaden got angrier at himself for being unable to do anything to help.
Kaden could do nothing but run. Feeling a new form of self-loathing welling inside of him every step he took, Kaden clenched his teeth and ran.
Two of the trolls followed behind him and gave chase, taking few but long lumbering steps and keeping up with Kaden with ease.
Seeing Kaden’s strategy, the mare followed suit. The taller mare ran into the forest hoping that one or two trolls would follow her as well.
Only to be disappointed to find as she sensed her surroundings as she ran that only one troll had followed in rage.
The other three had stayed focused on the shorter mare who was weaving in and out of the attacks, using the troll’s lack of coordination to get them to land a few blows on each other that did little damage.
Getting up in pain, Hannah took note of her surroundings. She had managed to kill 5 of the trolls. Looking at Ava, she didn’t look too good, she didn’t seem hurt, but she looked like a mess. The other trolls dead, Hannah concluded Ava took out the other 4.
Feeling satisfied, Hannah stood up. She pushed past the pain in her shoulder and went over to Ava and sat down next to her as she looked at the troll before her. It’s face half melted off all the way down to the neck as if it had been tortured. It still had tears that hadn’t dried running down both sides of it’s face.
Feeling a little disgusted by it’s looks, Hannah turned to look at Ava who looked horrified.
“Ava. Get your shit together. The battle isn’t over and we need you. I need to go help Kaden. I need you to go with me.” Hannah spoke to Ava but got no response from her as she was blankly looking off into space.
Clenching her teeth, Hannah felt aggravated. She didn’t have time for this!
Lifting her hand, Hannah smacked Ava across the face with as much force as she could muster.
Smacking her hard enough to leave a resounding sound vibrating through the air.
Hannah’s own hand felt painful and numb as she began rubbing it against her hip while hoping it had been enough to wake Ava up.
Turning to look at Hannah, Ava finally spoke “I’m fine. I can still fight.”
Giving her a doubtful look, Hannah could tell that Ava was still in shock. There was no time to help her process at the moment so she could only nod at her and get up.
Ava got up along with her, and asked “What do we do?”
“We help Kaden.” Hannah said without hesitation, as she began jogging in the direction of the lake.
She could still see Kaden running around the large creek. He was coming back towards their general direction so he must have doubled back.
“Let’s go in his direction, fast but save some energy. When they’re close go after it but stay as safe as possible. I still have enough mana to handle mine and maybe yours if it comes to that.” Hannah said to Ava as she jogged in his direction with Ava alongside of her.
As Kaden ran feeling exhausted at this point, he’d been running for minutes at a full sprint being chased by these trolls. The pressure on him only mounted as he had been running at full speed but these trolls had yet to slow down in the slightest. The difference in the size of their stride and number of steps was making a huge difference.
Realizing he could not keep running indefinitely, Kaden turned around and stilling his heart for a moment dove to the side at the trolls jumped at him in an attempted to tackle him with their bodies.
Getting up at a half crawl not stopping for even a moment, Kaden moved onto his legs running away back in the direction he had come from.
Kaden knew he needed to regroup with the others now. He had bought as much time as he could.
Running back, he felt the weight of every step. The trolls had been gaining on him before and causing them to tumble forward into the ground as he had doubled back had only served to anger them even more. Their growls were as audible to him as if they were right by his ear. They came after him even faster than before forcing Kaden to push himself even more.
Finally catching eyesight of Hannah and Ava. Relief poured into him for a second realizing that they were okay. He had made the right call.
Running towards them, he gritted his teeth putting the last bit of energy he had into reaching his full speed as the trolls closed in with an even greater determination to crush him into a liquid.
Finally within meters of Ava and Hannah. The two halted as Kaden stopped and turned around again hoping for the best as he readied his knives. In anger one of the trolls dove at him again, as Kaden dove sideways out of the way. The other troll swung with a club just barely missing him and started attacking the ground. Trying to crush Kaden as he rolled away away from each loud and powerful strike.
Hannah moved forward and followed the troll attacking Kaden. Ava moved forward and jumped at the troll who had dove at Daichi that was still on the ground. Leaping on top of it with her melt skill already activated she melted through it’s back as it shrieked in agony trying to get up. In an effort move and get up, the troll pushed Ava’s hands even deeper through his back and out of his chest.
Trying to grab at its attacker on it’s back, The troll tried swiping at her with it’s hands and nailed in futile effort before Ava’s hands reached back inside of it’s chest and finally found its heart. Dropping in pain, it’s life was ended with that final look of pain still frozen on it’s face.
Ava inhaled deeply, having trouble remembering to breathe but trying to remain focused on helping the others. Ava kept repeating that she had to help the others as she got off the troll and moved forward one step at a time focusing on those words.
Hannah had reached the other troll and while it was busy taking swings at the ground trying to squish Kaden she put her palm on it’s back as she reached it and ended it’s life in a moment as she dropped to her knees with the troll.
Sweat running down Hannah’s face she looked at Kaden in relief. She could feel her mana mostly gone. Exhaustion only amplifying the pain in her shoulder, but relief was coursing through her.
Kaden looked up at her and sighed in relief. He had been worried about her until he had seen her. Then all he could do was focus on not getting crushed to death by these trolls.
Feeling annoyance and self-loathing at his inability to help, Kaden began laughing in pain.
Laughing out loud at his own weakness.