Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 101: Somewhere else

The caravan didn´t celebrate for long. The adventurers got back in formation and the caravan hurried along. They needed to keep going to reach the next spot for camping. The dwarves had created several checkpoints along the trade route where they either cut completely new halls into the mountains or expanded existing caves and caverns. In these places, everyone from single travelers to big merchant caravans like theirs could stay the night without having to fear a wyvern attack.

Their way led through mountain valleys and passes with little vegetation and biting cold winds howling through the landscape. Some people actually had their priests cast buffs to endure the cold.

After his talk with the head examiner, few people had the time to ask him about the bow. The journey from here on was mostly silent, as everyone conserved their energy to walk. Yes, walking. They had reached the point where the carts and horses already had a hard time traversing the steep and rough road. Having everyone walk beside the carts and wagons was not only faster at this point, but everyone stayed on guard this way.

At least the horses had no chance to panic and hurt themselves during the encounter with the wyverns, as they were completely petrified in fear. Had they lost any of the horses, one of the adventurers ’ pets would have had to take that role. Or worse, the people would have had to pull the cart.

It was not dark yet, but the sun had already vanished beyond the mountain peaks. Trudging along the snow-covered roads everyone ’s motivation hit rock bottom. Even Seth felt the cold now, slowly crawling under his skin. When he felt unobserved, he would use short bursts of flames to cover his skin below the armor. Even if someone looked, it would only seem like a short glow from the inside of his armor. He had to be very careful, not to damage his armor though.

The rest of the party was walking beside him, but their eyes either looked on the ground or into the distance as they tried to keep the warmth inside their bodies. They were still the rear guard, walking at the very end of the long procession of people and wagons. At the moment they were ascending steep serpentines towards a mountain pass. The higher they got, the stronger and louder became the wind howling through the gap between two peaks.

In the narrow chasm up above was the checkpoint for tonight ’s camp. Supposedly there was the entrance to a big and safe cave somewhere along the 90% steep rock faces of the pass. If this wasn´t such an inhospitable place, it would have been the perfect place for an ambush. But no bandits dared to dwell in these mountains. This made it one of the best places to stay, as the pass was too narrow for the wyverns to dive into.

Seth cursed. Speaking of the devil. Just when their goal was in sight and he thought they would reach temporary safety he heard the familiar roar in the sky. Like overgrown vultures, they appeared circling in the sky. This time everyone was ready. The caravan leader gave the signal for the carts and wagon to speed up, while the priests cast shields and buffs against the dragon might. Safety was already in sight; a short sprint would not hurt anyone.

While the wagons sped up, so did the adventurers but they stayed in formation and kept their attention on the wyverns in the sky. There were six wyverns this time, but the three from last time were not among them. They looked even bigger and more ferocious than the ones from earlier that day. They did not attack yet, so Seth did not dare to use and provoke them, but he guessed that these had to be at least grown adults.

He and the party were at the very end of the caravan, so they would be the last to get to safety. Fortunately, other parties fell back to ensure the caravans back and reinforcing their position.

With three C-Rank parties and their pets making up the rear guard it did not feel like anyone was going to be left behind.

Their actions did not remain unnoticed. The wyverns were not dragons, but they still had a good amount of brainpower. They saw their prey hurrying towards the tight place they could not enter and became aggravated. Playing and instilling fear was one thing, but letting their prey get away was unacceptable. As such, the beast started attacking shortly after the caravan increased the speed.

Seth used his and got a bad feeling about the situation.

Four of them were as Seth had expected, but the last one was shown as . Their level difference was not big, and Seth could only see their names, but the pressure they gave of was completely different. If pitted against each other, the old-timer seemed strong enough to take down the other 4 on his own!

The four adult ones started to attack the caravan while the old one stayed in the air. Since the dragon might had not worked, they gave up on simple dive attacks on the people. The casters had a hard time shielding the fleeing wagon from the claws of two of them. The other two landed on the ground and started to directly attack the adventurers.

They had evaded the bigger group at the end of the caravan and were attacking from the sides where the manpower was lacking. Whether the beats had planned it or not, instead of forming an even group and fighting together, the adventurers split up into their original parties to fight the wyverns. Not only were they ineffective as they lacked the cohesion and teamwork between different parties, but it also meant that Seth and the other were actually left alone when their reinforcements rushed off to attack the landed wyverns.

”These fuckers! ”

They were now only five people in the rearguard trying to keep up with the caravan. Promptly one of the wyverns still in the air landed beside the easy prey. The monster landed on the last cart of the caravan, crushing it underfoot and cutting off their way towards the caravan! There was nothing they could do, but get into formation and prepare for the fight. What had they trained for, if not for this?

The wyvern rushed at them, but was blocked by a shield of light Bulko had summoned quick-wittedly.

Having bought some time with this, everyone summoned their pets and Bulko the ogre priest and Puffles, the Mighty, cast their buffs on the party and pets.

When the shield broke under the force of the wyvern ’s second bite, its face got blasted by a light bolt and fire lance from Puffles and Lixiss respectively.

Wyverns have thick faces, so it was only slightly hurt by the casters ’ quick attack. This wasn´t a problem, using the short time it was occupied by the magic, Seth and Mike dashed forward and under the body of the wyvern. With Seth on the right and Mike on the left, they stopped below its wings and started slashing and stabbing at its thick scaley legs. They aimed to cut the beast ’s tendons. If they could incapacitate its legs, it would lose all mobility. It would not even be able to set off and fly away!

The Wyvern let out a painful shriek as Seth´s spear easily penetrated its less armored calves. The Wyvern looked away from the party in the front and bend down its neck to bite Seth. Instead of pulling the spear out he changed the grip and started pushing with all his strength as he charged away from the giant maws. Holding the spear like an oar and pushing forward, the spear tip moved like a fillet knife, cut along the calf muscle, and ended up severing the tendon on its way out.

Losing the support of its right leg, coupled with the momentum of the turn when it tried to bite Seth, made the giant reptile plummet forward where it landed on its left wing. Between the weight of its own massive body and the rough rocky ground, its fine wing bones were ground to dust.

Mike had been unable to land a decisive cut on his leg and his attempt were rudely interrupted by a massive tail swatting him away as the beast plunged to the ground.

Mike got the expressway to leave the combat zone, but Seth was still in danger. The wyvern was in pain and angry and Seth was the only one in its field of view. As he ran away there was a long neck with sharp teeth and angry eyes diving after him.

He had no time to run far and could only block the giant maws with teeth as long as his upper arm by shoving the spear in to block the jaws from closing. Furious eyes were burning a hole into him as the pressure kept increasing. The wooden shaft started bending as the spear tip started slowly digging into the roof of its mouth. As the shaft started breaking and the splinters kept popping off the spear, Seth felt like his last hour had come.

In this moment of struggle, a shadow appeared above the wyvern ’s head. A figure with two daggers landed there and rammed one dagger in each of the wyvern ’s wide-open eyes! Mina, the assassin had finally decided to move and save his life.

In agony the wyvern waved its head around, throwing off the figure and ripping the spear out of Seth ’s hand. Not caring about the spear, he dashed away and caught Mina on the way. With the girl in his arms, a joined back with the rest of the party. Lixiss and Bolko were helping Mike who had a rough landing after being flung away. He was okay except for some bruises.

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