Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 106: What they did not say(3)

The scene before his eyes was as fantastic as could be. In the darkness of the night, only broken by the intermittent light of a spell, was brewing an epic battle. The valley had filled with an army of transformed drakes and the remnants of the caravan desperately fighting for their lives.

And the air above the valley was filled with an uncountable number of wyverns. He could only see a mass of leathery wings covering the sky. Over and over wyverns dived out of their flock to grab a drake and take it with them into the clouds and let them rain down or smash them into other drakes on the ground.

While the drakes were attacking anything alive, the wyverns ignored the struggling adventurers and focused on decimating their undead relatives.

”Wow… ” it was Mina who had come to the beside him without him noticing. With her cat ears laid back and her eyes wide and dark, she looked at the battle in the valley. Was this how he looked when he set a whole city on fire?

The drake had finally died somewhere on the battlefield. He got around 10% experience despite not playing a big part in its actual death.

”What´s going on guys? ” the rest of the party stuck their head out after they didn´t say anything after some time. All they could see were the random flashes of light from magic. But they could hear. The mass of wings flapping in the sky and the cacophony of reptilian screams and roars. The shout of the adventurers, explosions of magic, and the meaty splashes when the drakes hit the ground from extreme heights. Just the noise of the battlefield was enough for them to pale.

Seth explained what was happening, and they got even paler. What was even going on anymore? They talked about what to do now and came to the only possible solution:

Cower and hide.

Stay where they were until the situation outside calmed down.

What else were they supposed to do? Help? That was nothing better than suicide. Run? There was a good chance to be picked off by either the wyverns or the drakes. At least they were safe from the wyverns here.

And so, they entrenched themself in the tiny cave and waited.

———–Fin´s Side————-

The rescue/ reinforcement party reached the wyvern ’s territory within a day ’s time and rested on the plateau where the caravan had stayed a day before. The traces the merchants had left assured them that they were close to catching up. The caravan would have reached the checkpoint by now. The party would have a good rest before rushing after them early in the morning. Like this, they would catch up to the caravan at dawn.

Fin looked quiet on the outside, but she was actually on edge. It was not about the wyverns. Well, it was also about the wyverns. But what if what riled the wyverns up, was more dangerous than the flying lizards?

The fairy actually had to cast calm magic on herself to get a wink of sleep that night. She knew that she would have to be at her peak if she wanted to be of help in case something happened.

——The small cave ————-

All of them were starting to get tired after not having the chance to sleep. They were all huddled together at the very back of the cave, looking at the entrance. The noise of battle had not waned, but sounds of people fighting, screaming and magic being cast had long subsided. It was only the scratching of claws, the flapping of wings, and the reptilian roars and hisses left out there.

It reminded Seth of a movie he had seen one, about a planet plunged in total darkness with hordes of bizarre monsters coming out to hunt. He felt a lot like he had become a character in such a movie. The darkness outside guaranteed the death of anyone entering it. He had no doubts about it.

There was no second drake that tried to get in after the last one was snatched up by a wyvern, but they kept warily observing the entrance. They took turns between the guard and resting to conserve their energy.

When morning came the valley outside became quieter, but they still did not dare to leave the cave. Seth peaked out of the cave and found the valley covered in the corpses of the drakes and some humans. There were no wyverns, as they recovered their dead.

There were still a lot of drakes and wyverns fighting, but it was incomparable to the number during the night. When the light of dawn fell over the edge of the cliff into the valley the drakes fell into a panic. The living and the dead drakes started giving off black smoke as the sunlight hit them. The drakes stopped whatever they were doing and rushed towards the gorge, where they came from. The wyverns to their chance to pick off the more of the panicking enemies.

It was then they heard the sound of a battle rise once again. They could not make out what was said, but they hear strong and controlled shouts before projectiles and magic started pouring out from the gorge and hitting the rushing drakes.

”There are people! ” Seth woke the others. Once again, they assembled at the entrance and looked towards the fight. This time the adventurers ’ powers were coordinated and easily overwhelmed the wave of drakes. Their numbers were halved before even reaching the entrance to the gorge. Not counting those the wyverns picked off.

The drakes that reached the adventurers met their end under the weapons of the frontline fighters. The difference between the previous night and this was like night and day.

”We should go and help. ” Mike stated. Looking at the valley, there were few stragglers. Most of the drakes were trying to return to where they had come from. They could probably harvest some easy experience if they fell into the drakes ’ backs. It would also look better if they came out to help, compared to cowering in a cave to be rescued.

They climbed down from their hiding place and were promptly involved in combat by a drake straggle who had been rushing towards the gorge. A single drake was no great problem for the party and they managed to overpower it quickly. The fact that it was melting in the sun helped, too. Mike beheaded the creature and Seth got 8% experience from it. If they could kill some more this easily, it would a good way to gain experience.

They hurried towards the big group of drakes that scrambled to get into the gorge and the other holes where they had come from. Their numbers were already dwindling before the overpowering group of adventurers when Seth and the party attacked the bloodslaves from behind. Fortunately, or not, the drake corpses rapidly dissolved in the sun, so there was no wall of corpses building up.

Obviously, they did not simply jump into the fray. They started the fight with one of Lixiss compressed fireballs as an opener. The ball exploded amidst the crowd. It burned and catapulted 5 or 6 drakes away from its impact point leaving a big crater. They could only do it, since they had ample time to cast the spell beforehand.

Mike, Mina and Seth rushed in to finish off those in the worst condition.

Seth used this chance to verify his hunch. He watched the other two kill their targets and checked his experience bar. He gained 7% and 8% respectively for the two. He killed the last one with Charon ’s Obol and it gave him less than half compared to the others. Seth had not much time to be happy about his discovery as they had to sprint back to their party. Otherwise, they would have been surrounded.

The adventurers defending the gorge shot signal magic to show that they had noticed them, but they were not in a situation where they could help them.

After the explosive opener, the party went back to orderly and stable party play to safely attack one or two drakes at a time. The sun had a tremendous weakening effect on them, giving the party a boost in confidence.

Slow and steady they worked their way along the cliff and closer to the phalanx of frontline fighters at the gorge. Everything went great. Soon they would reach the reinforcement party.

Until a bloodcurdling roar echoed in the sky.

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