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“Oh god, are they serious?” Clay, a scout from the boulder guild exclaimed in horror when he finally reached the place. They had seen the scarlet meteors falling from kilometers away and he had rushed here at Brock’s command, to find out what was going on.
The scene he witnessed was incomprehensible. There was a sea of nightmarish limbs and eyes, so many creatures it was hard to see where one began and another ended… Like an enraged force of nature, the whole ocean was rushing toward a small plateau, where not even 30 people waited to face them with a fortress and a cliff in their back.
“Attack!” he heard the roar of Minas Mar’s Tower Master and they attacked. There was no formation, strategy, or party play, people individually ruched into the sea of insects climbing onto the plateau as if they were looking to die! Except, they didn’t. Like a shoal of fish avoiding a turtle, each person split the sea, leaving a trail of blood in their wake.
He didn’t know where to look, as no matter where he looked, he had a hard time understanding what he saw. There were several people just weaving through the masses of enemies, leaving a gruesome trail of innards and bodies in their wake.
A Tigerman followed by a hideous familiar, as he logged his enemy with a mighty axe as if they were a grove of young saplings. Splitting the giant armored beasts like firewood, it seemed like his speed just kept increasing…
It between these cyclones of destruction there were random explosions among the approaching insects as if they triggered landmines. At one point he caught a glimpse of something like a rune lighting up, just before the area turned into a toxic bog that swallowed several of the beasts.
The mages of both camps were fighting their own back and forth, as spells of all elements rampaged across the battlefield and tried to break each other’s shields.
“Let the Heaven’s Rage!” a voice thundered across the battlefield and a cloud formed above the canyon. A storm of lightning bolts rained from the cloud, breaking barriers and exploding the cliff sites. Many fell to their death as they fell with the debris.
In a chaotic slaughter, Minas Mar’s vanguard soon secured the whole edge of the plateau, turning any bug glimpsing over the edge into a rain of body fluids and parts that hit their comrades below. With the barrier temporarily broken by the thunderstorm, the rearguard of Minas Mar also managed to pick off most of the beasts that crawled across the cliff faces.
Clay had watched on in shock for less than half an hour, but Minas Mar had managed to turn the tide from what liked like a suicide mission, to an advantageous position to farm experience. However, this didn’t hold for long.
A dissonant cricket noise sounded again and the whole army still visible suddenly retreat back into their holes and down into the mist of the canyon below.
— Cinema Dimension—
“You really managed to set quite the stage, but aren’t they giving up a little too easily?” the bearded blacksmith god whispered to the god of chaos sitting beside him.
They had prepared well for this day. The cinema was changed to the shape of a greek theater with the display being a massive orb in the middle showing the scene of the canyon. All seats were filled to the brim with figures of gods. But the best seats were taken up by prominent faces of regulars in the dimension.
Hades Persephone, Seth, Hephaestus, Hermes, and Apollo, they were all sitting close to the front, enjoying the show. Hard to overlook were also the System God and the Dungeon God, seated in the same row. Other gods were more secretive about their activities, hiding their faces as they watched the spectacle.
With the beginning of the Age of Gods, Urth had become a popular source of entertainment. There was a high demand for quality programs, many gods used to look for potential Champions instead of arduously zapping through the channels or rankings. Even when they didn’t have intentions to choose a champion or give a blessing, many wanted to watch.
“Oh, don’t worry. This was simply the first wave. They realized that the speck of dirt they tried to wipe is more obstinate than expected. This wasn’t a signal for retreat. It’s the signal for the big guns.” the god of destruction said with a self-satisfied smile.
Things were only going to become more interesting from now on. It had to. While Seth set the stage, the others had put in some effort to assemble this crowd to help their little champion in his endeavor.
They had invited a lot of gods and even went as far as to give discounts to fill the room with potential patrons for the lords of Minas Mar. All they had to do now was deliver a good show.
A sudden silence reigned over the canyon, as the army had actually pulled back. Jonah stood at the edge of the cliff, vigilantly looking down into the abyss. He saw a glint in the darkness, but before he could react, a loud clang rang over the plateau.
Glittering pieces spun through the air and the left side of his face explode in a burning pain. It felt like half his face was missing.
“Gah!” he cried out and hurriedly stumbled back from the edge.
Taking a deep breath he concentrated and used some of the energy in the Hungry Coin to regenerate his eyeball in a breath. He heard a whoosh which was followed by another clank that echoed across the plateau like a signal.
Jonah had managed to react just in time to block an attack with the angel sword. The first thing his newly generated eye saw were the venom oozing fangs of something Jonah could only label a Spidertaur for lack of a better name.
It was a deformed spider with a distantly humanoid upper body using four legs as arms and the other four as legs. Its whole body was covered in a coat of glistening bristles. It made an awful gushing noise when speaking.
“Hoho, you have not only survived the general’s sniper bristle shot but even blocked my surprise attack. You are not bad softskin.”
Jonah looked at couldn’t care less about the praise of the beast, he was staring at the pieces of his shattered mask on the ground. A face more handsome and pretty than even that of a movie star was revealed to the world. The blood covering half his was could not diminish his beauty. On the contrary, it gave his look something wild, with the crimson blood contrasting his pale, smooth as jade skin.
“I have to admit, you are really pretty for a softskin…” the spider let slip, but it fell silent when its four pairs of eyes met the one of the vampiric swordsman.
There was murder in these eyes, more terrifying than any mask. The atmosphere of this lovely, supple face had quickly toppled, looking like a porcelain death mask. It made the tarantula immediately take a defensive stance with it’s chitin spear, but it was already too late.
Its spear barely managed to block the lightning-fast strike of the macabre sword, but the human suddenly plunged his claw-like hand into its abdomen. Warm, yellowish body fluid spewed out from the wound and covered Jonah.
“hah, don’t think this would be enough to kill me! I’m an elite of the emperor’s army! I will never fall to a mere softskin!” it gushed enraged and flung away the sword that was locked with his spear.
With a mighty roar, it shot all the bristles on its body, turning the swordsman into a porcupine.
“Hahah! All my bristles are venomous! You will die soon-“
Ignoring the bristles, Jonah had swung his sword before the spider even finished its attack, severing its head in a clean move. He grunted unhappily as he pulled out one of the bristles. Jonah really liked his armor made from newt leather as it tremendously increased his health, but it had not enough defense to completely stop the bristles. It was now full of holes. Even his mask was broken!
Hearing the sound of battle, he quickly pulled himself together. Everyone was fighting some weird giant insects. This wasn’t the time to mourn his items, he had to help the others! But just as he attempted to rush off, he saw himself forced to dodge another attack and jump back several steps.
More of the spidertaurs climbed the edge, and they were not the only ones that came with company. Everywhere on the plateau, more of these elite monsters appeared. As much as he wanted to help, maybe he was the one that needed it more. Jonah grit his teeth. Taking control of the sword with , he got into his combat stance as a blood monk.
With a handsome but grim face, he threw himself into the battle.
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