Chapter 18

(Allein P.O.V.)

After making their way out of the town covertly, Nes and Allein had circled around to the rear of the monster’s army in the skies above. With their Dragonkin eyes, they could see the lizardmen clearly below and had already chosen their targets. Using their powers of telepathy, they could communicate with each other effortlessly and coordinate their attacks.

“Brother, I will land near the rear and target that group of shamans with a wide area ‘Fireball’ spell. Wait for my ‘Fireball’ to hit them and then go straight for the lizard commander.”

Allein transmitted those words to her brother through telepathy and the two conversed in this way.

“Allein, I don’t like this. You are a Dragonkin princess! What right does a Human have to order you around like some lackey!?” Her brother was clearly still angry and transmitted his thoughts as such.

“Nes, enough. If the town falls and Fayde dies, our plans will be for naught. Is that what you wish to happen?” Allein was much better than her brother at seeing the big picture.

She could get past her hatred for the sake of her mission, but her brother had great difficulty in this.

“I understand!!”

With her brother finally having calmed his thoughts, she transmitted to her brother that she would now land and begin chanting her spell.

As Allein flew closer to the ground, she began to morph in mid air and soon the only remains of her dragon form were a pair of jet black wings protruding from her back. She hovered mere inches from the ground a good distance from the targets she had selected for her attack. Her wings flapped fiercely blowing dirt and debris across the ground. Despite the force of her wings keeping her afloat, they made barely any sound and the distance was enough that her targets were completely unaware of her presence. In close quarter combat her wings would only be a hindrance since it was difficult to maneuver with them, but they were perfect for magic bombardment and retreat.

She began gathering her magical strength and chanted her spell. The ‘Fireball’ spell had a long chant and was not practical to use in close quarters or when time was short. She had all the time she needed currently though and as soon as her spell was ready, she flung an immense fireball straight towards a large group of shaman who were attacking the barrier which remained on most of the western wall.

Her brother sprang into action as soon as he saw the light of Allein’s ‘Fireball’ leave her hands. He headed straight for the enemy commander landing on the ground at the same time as the ‘Fireball’ struck the location of the large group of shaman. The group of shaman were blown into pieces from the explosion caused by the ‘Fireball’.

The enemy forces were immediately sent into disarray as they realized they were being attacked from the rear. However, the enemy commander didn’t have time to react as Nes gracefully landed, finishing his transformation right before hitting the ground. He went straight for the commander, cutting down the guards who were protecting it. One of the guards blew a horn it had around its neck before being swiftly cut down. Nes made quick work of the rest with his spear and even the lizard commander wasn’t a significant threat.

Once the other lizardmen and Kobolds who were kept in reserve noticed the carnage which was being inflicted on their rear, they immediately ran towards the threat that was most visible to them. After killing the commander, Nes swiftly made his retreat and ran further west while his own pair of black wings sprang from his back and he took flight. He pulled further and further away from the enemy who attempted a counterattack which was stopped by the appearance of another ‘Fireball’.

The lizardman having become enraged by Nes killing their commander, had forgotten the presence of a mage to their rear and were unprepared for a second ‘Fireball’ which struck with dangerous ferocity. Many of the lizardmen shaman had been wiped out, but there were still a few left and they attempted to send a barrage of magic spells at the fleeing Nes, but he had gained too much distance and their attacks failed.

With the death of the lizardmen commander and many of the shamans, the army of monsters began to fall into chaos. Noticing that the enemy army was in complete disarray, the Human army began its counterattack.

(Fayde P.O.V.)

Reia and I had rushed back to the breach in the wall and a fire had already been started around the breach. It had slowed the advance of the heavily armored lizardmen, but they were still advancing as they attempted to cross the burning flames. The adventurers had fallen back a bit to let the flames grow, and hopefully surround the enemy, but it wasn’t proving as effective as they hoped. It wasn’t so simple to start a large fire in such a short period of time. Nonetheless, it had bought them some much needed time.

In the meanwhile, Orban had communicated with the commander of the guard and they had prepared a force of light infantry preparing for the moment when their counterattack would begin. Some of the soldiers who remained on top of the wall to defend it shouted out in joy when they saw the sudden attack on the rear of the army of monsters. A distant horn sounded and the heavily armored lizardmen stopped their advance in surprise as they looked around in confusion.

Once they heard the horn, they momentarily looked around in confusion but then began pulling back slowly while guarding against any attack from the town. Our forces had already prepared heavier spears for this exact moment and with the enemy army outside the walls in disarray due to the confusion of the surprise attack, our army charged forward into the breach without worrying about enemy reinforcements.

It was not necessary for our forces to remain in formation since the enemy was currently in retreat and they were only partially focused on the charging Human soldiers. Mobility was the key here and if we could quickly cut down the heavy infantry of the lizardmen without suffering huge casualties, the rest of their army would fall with ease. Adventurers joined the fray as well and with the might of the charging Human forces, the heavy infantry formation of the lizardmen began to crumble.

Reia and I charge into the heavy infantry cutting a number of them down. It was much easier to kill them now that their shield wall had fallen apart. Orban had given me a heavy piercing spear and I had enhanced the spear with my ‘Void Flames’. The ‘Void Flame’ enhancement made piercing through the enemy armor a sinch. All the while I continued to grow stronger as I absorbed the ‘Dark Matter Contamination’ from each lizardmen killed in my vicinity. A spear was not necessary for Reia as she had followed suit and enhanced her blade with wind properties which made the sword a piercing instrument. Magic clearly had many interesting uses if one had the imagination for it.

Even with the advantages, it wasn’t as if the lizardmen were completely defenseless. A good number of the Human soldiers also lost their lives in the melee as the opponents were very strong. I wasn’t sure how long had passed, but our forces eventually pushed through and had killed the majority of the heavy infantry of the lizardmen.

While the soldiers on the ground had successfully pushed back the enemy at the breach and began the extermination of the army of monsters, the soldiers on the wall had also begun their counterattack. Archers along the wall shot fire arrows towards the enemy army in disarray and now that the barrier was no longer necessary, all the mages along the wall focused on bombarding the enemy as well. Elemental spells lit up the night in a magical glow as spell after spell rained down on the monsters from the town walls.

With the monsters having lost their commander, most of their shamans, and their heavy infantry, they were in full rout. Human light cavalry, that had been kept in reserve within the town, charged out of the western gate and began trampling the fleeing monsters. The Human infantry and adventurers cut down monsters close to the wall or ones that tried to regroup for a counterattack.

Some of the remaining shamans posed some slight difficulty taking down but a few ‘Void Flames’ to the gut made quick work of them. I attempted to absorb as many monsters as I could find and felt surges of power growing within me as I grew stronger. This was basically a feeding ground for my power and even my black flames grew denser and more powerful. Reia never left my side during the entire night of fighting, watching my back and protecting my rear. I couldn’t have asked for a better companion.

With the battle finally coming to a close, I fell to my knees exhausted. My heart was about to beat right out of my chest and I realized that I had lost myself in the fighting. This scared me and I felt I was becoming too accustomed to killing, even if they were monsters.I wasn’t sure how exactly I felt after participating in my first large scale battle and the fact that I had been filled with excitement as I fought was an uncomfortable feeling.

Soldiers were still running around the battlefield looking for any monsters who might still be alive. They were using torches or magic to light their way but there was also considerable light due to the fires that had been started by the fire arrows the archers had shot earlier. Some of the soldiers would stop occasionally and thrust their spear downwards to finish off an injured monster. Others had already begun looting or harvesting the monster’s parts. To the dismay of many, there were no magic crystals to be found in most of the monsters. Only the ones I had not had a chance to absorb contained magic crystals which bewildered the adventurers especially.

I looked over to Reia and she was watching me with concern written on her face. She helped me to my feet and placed both of her hands on my shoulder, “I’m so glad we made it through that….” It looked as if she wanted to say more but she couldn’t find the words to say.

“You don’t need to look so worried, we won. We’re alive aren’t we?” I said that to cheer her up but my words betrayed my weariness and it had the opposite effect.

“I have fought alone many times and I have never felt fear, even when I thought I might die…. I was holding you back this time and I am sorry.” I was slightly taken aback by her words.

“What are you talking about Reia? You weren’t a burden in anyway. If not for you guarding my back, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to fight.” I was sincere in my words and the fact that she had fought alongside me had truly filled me with confidence.

She shook her head at my response and said, “I was afraid… that something might happen to you….”

I didn’t let her finish and instead pulled her into my arms and hugged her. I whispered into her ear, “Don’t say anymore.” I was worried she would push me away, but she didn’t. We must have been quite the sight, two people hugging surrounded by hundreds of the dead, and covered in dirt and grime and perhaps even blood.

I knew Reia’s emotions were complicated ever since I had arrived on this planet and come into her life. I also felt she had feelings for me but she was holding herself back due to her lack of confidence and the discrimination she had faced in the world. This discrimination came not just from the Humans, but even her own kind.

Her tribe were exiles from their own people, forced to eek a living from scraps and even among her own tribe she didn’t feel as if she belonged. The fact that she had been so driven to seek revenge against her uncle didn’t help either. I grew somewhat sad thinking about the difficult life she had been forced to live up to this point and I made a promise in my heart that I would give her a better life, whether she accepted me or not.

I could be patient and I also felt my feelings for her grow as well.

The aftermath of the battle created a hectic scene and there was much work to do before anyone could rest. All of the dead needed to be buried and the area outside the city where the battlefield took place needed to be completely cleaned of equipment. Dealing with the monsters was a little easier because monster bodies would decay after a while and didn’t need to be buried. Once their bodies were harvested, they would eventually melt and disappear without their magic crystals.

By the time we finished cleaning up the battlefield and transporting all the loot from the battle, it was already well into the morning, almost afternoon. Most of us could barely move after completing the work and as the town awoke, the citizens began to come out of their homes once more. They cheered all of those who had participated in the battle and threw flowers all over the dirt roads.

Reia and I had a brief conversation with Orban after the battle and he congratulated us on a job well done, promising us that we would be rewarded for our excellent contributions. He then shooed us off to go get some rest and asked us to come see him the next day. I was so exhausted I couldn’t even bring myself to talk to anyone and ignored the celebrations as I found my way back to the inn and into a hot bath.

As I lay in the warm water filling the bronze tub, I thought back to the night after the battle when I held Reia. For a long time she remained in my arms without moving and said nothing. At some point I knew we would need to have a serious conversation about us, but she wasn’t ready yet and I could wait.

There were also the issues with Allein to deal with. There was no confusion with her at all, she had made it very clear to me that she considered me her possession. Of course, I wasn’t about to accept a situation like that. It wasn’t as if I didn’t like Allein and she was certainly one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen, but she had too many secrets. I didn’t know how much I could fully trust her yet, although she had not hesitated to help me time after time. I had to respect that much and it wasn’t as if she didn’t seem sincere, it was just her attitude that needed a bit of work.

After the bath, I finally was able to rest in a new room that had been provided for me. I fell asleep almost instantly and my dreams were once again invaded by Allein, but I was expecting that. We hadn’t had a chance to speak after she left the previous night and was most likely waiting somewhere outside the city for things to calm down.

Allein was her usual self, though, and wanted me to praise her endlessly for saving me yet again. Since it was true, I praised her in a sarcastic and over exaggerated manner which seemed to please her. She didn’t notice my sarcasm and even gave me a beautiful smile before disappearing from my dreams and letting me finally rest in peace.

The next day, the adventurers who had participated in the defense of the town were all congregating at the Guildhall and Orban gave us one of his amazingly long speeches. I pretended to listen, nodding my head occasionally.

Reia and I received the greatest rewards since we had been the ones to warn the city of the approaching monsters and it had been my strategy that had won the battle. We had also killed a lot of monsters and so I was rewarded with two ranks and immediately became a silver medallion adventurer. Reia was awarded a gold medallion. We also received a good bit of gold as a reward as part of the materials and such that had been scavenged or harvested.

Orban also broke the news to the adventurers in the Guildhall that the Guild was finally going to organize a grand expedition to conquer the dungeon that had been plaguing the town for a long time. Tired of the invasions every few years, Orban felt that they finally had the manpower and opportunity to destroy the dungeon for good. However, it would take time to organize the expedition and all silver medallions and up were expected to participate in the dungeon capture.

We were allowed to continue to complete missions if we wished but couldn’t take on any long term jobs. It would take anywhere from a month to two months to organize the expedition since they first had to send out scouts to discover the location of the dungeon which would take considerable time. They then needed to organize merchant caravans and adventurer parties as well as gather supplies.

Once all the preparations were complete, it would take time to travel to the dungeon and then explore it. Dungeon exploration and capture was not a small matter. It required vast amounts of time, resources and manpower in order to be successful. Since this was a matter of grave importance, no mistakes could be made and even the lord of the town was involved since there would be quite a lot of money involved. Of course, if the dungeon was successfully captured and destroyed, the amount of wealth that could be obtained was enormous and everyone would be well rewarded.

The rest of the day was spent in celebration and getting to know the other adventurers who had participated in the battle. Most of them were aware of my great accomplishments and I became somewhat of a celebrity among the adventurers.

I noticed Tris wasn’t currently present at the Guild and wondered if something had happened to her. I hadn’t seen her in the fighting last night. I had wanted to party up with her in the defense of the town,  but she might have been called to defend the wall since she was a notable archer. Now that there would be some downtime before the expedition would begin, I planned to form up an official party with Tris and Reia and train as much as I could for the coming dungeon exploration.

I think I’ll name our party ‘Void Walkers’. Hehe, I like it.

When all was done, I finally had an opportunity to check my status using the divination crystal.

[Level: -1   EXP: 0/0]

[HP: 94/94]

[Health Regen:  0.5/min] [2/min while resting]

[VP: 600/600] [Void Threshold: 625 Next level 750]

[Void Regen: 1/min] [10/min while resting]

Strength: 13 ( Modifier +2, Representation of your attack power as well as your physical strength)

Dexterity: 13 (Modifier +2, Representation of your reflexes, movement, agility, and evasion)

Constitution: 15 (Modifier +3, Representation of your resilience and affects health/health regen)

Charisma: 13 (Modifier +2, Representation of how others perceive both your physical appearance and personality as well as your skill at social interactions)

Intelligence: 139 (Represents intellectual capacity, Affects Skill Growth)

Wisdom: 180 (Represents an accumulation of life experience and common sense)

Acquired Proficiencies: Sword (Level 5/10 Intermediate), Evasion (Level 4/10 Intermediate), Tactics (Level 4/10 Intermediate), Leadership (Level 4/10 Intermediate), Endurance (Level 3/10 Intermediate), Spear (Level 2/10 Beginner)

Blessings: Blessing of the Void (?)

Special ability: Molecular absorption (Absorbs dark matter contamination strengthening host)

Inherent status: Immortality (Immortality grants agelessness, your body and soul will no longer age)

Affinities: Void (Your natural and innate magical affinity, Void Element)

Void Element: Void Flame (Enhanced) (15VP – 5VP/min) (Manipulate wide area intense flames from the Void for both attack and defense, limited dimensional properties)

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