Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 18: Somewhere else

Starta Village

In the night after Seth left Starta Village. The figure of a hunter appeared at the closed city gates.

”Hey, Tom! Let me in! ”, he called for the guard to open the door, ”C´mon! I´m in a hurry! ”.

”God damn, Wilton! Why are you here so late? Did something happen at the fence? ”, the guard complained as he opened the gate for the hunter to slip in.

”Yeah, I gotta report to the Priest. ”, he patted the guards should and passed by him.

Wilton left the guard behind and tiredly walked towards the church building. After the several hours of walk he still wasn ’t sure how to describe what had happened. He was still trying to come up with how to phrase it as he opened the door to the priests ’ bureau without knocking.

Simon was sitting on his desk munching on cookies and reading in the thick folder he had shown to Seth. Some things that had happened in this world read like a terrifying, but fascinating horror novel. He looked up when he heard the door open.

”Oh! Wilton! ”, he closed the folder and put the bowl with cookies away, ”What happened? For you to come he at such a late hour is unusual. You look tired. ”

”Priest- Simon…Erm, I don ’t know how to say it but… something happened at the perimeter fence. ”

”Hum hum? At the fence? What happened? ”, Simon was sure that Seth had probably come from there. Did the young man have something to do with it? Those Arachne webs were quite strong! They were meant to keep the corrupted beasts inside the wood. Did he damage them when he tried to get out? For him to be able to damage them, he was already so strong at this early stage!

”It was burned down. ”, Wilton said scratching his head embarrassed.

”What? ”, Simon ’s eyes widened in disbelieve.

”A part of the forest and the fence were burned down. Completely burned to ashes. When we arrived only dust was left ”, the hunter elaborated.

”Wha- how? that… ”, Seth`s face came to Simon`s mind. It couldn ’t be him, right? Even if he was an Ori Huma, it couldn ’t possibly be him! To burn those webs was one thing, but to turn those gigantic corrupted trees into ashes… What kind of fire would it need?

Current Time-Deltan

Seth was in a predicament. He lacked the mana to keep going and the Zombies suddenly went crazy. At least it proved, that the skill worked…

No! This was not the time for that! Seth stood in a devastated room at the end of a big debris-slap made of roof and a zombie horde was rushing to his location. He could barely make out a door behind the slap and rubble. He crouched down and crawled on the ground towards the door.

Behind the door in the rubble, he found a very small intact bathroom. It felt a little weird to make his last stand with his back towards a toilet, but he couldn ’t choose at this point.

Here, even if the zombies knew where he was, Seth could fight them off as long as they were forced to come one by one. Since they had to crawl into this tight space, he could easily pick them off!

The sound of rushed shuffling and dragged feet came from the rooftop, together with agitated grunts and growls and the Zombies started descending the slap.

Seth stood in the door frame and readied his billhook to chop at any corpse that dared to crawl in here. When the zombies came in sight, he used what little mana had recovered to use on them.

Augmented? Did their eyes shine because of that? He had not much time to think. With a ’whoosh ’ the billhook latched into the first zombies head and split it open.

They definitely gave above average experience! Seth had gotten a good amount of sleep, so he kept chopping at the zombies like a machine. At this point he was glad, that he had no time to eat anything. What he saw and smelled, would have been even worse with a filled stomach.

Luckily the zombies weren ’t the brightest and kept rushing at the small gap, clogging it up and hindering each other. They kept pulling their dead back out. At first Seth thought they had realized that those clogged up the gap even more. But they were not that bright. Maybe those trying to force their way in pulled out the lifeless ones on accident? But soon Seth got a glimpse outside. They actually started devouring their dead!

Soon Seth couldn ’t care too much about it and kept swinging his weapon. Sometimes he heard notifications, but he could not spare any attention at this time. The Zombies came in without end, the young man could see no end to this sea of enemies.

At some point, hours later, he stood ankle deep in rotten blood and didn ’t feel that he could keep going. His body kept slaying zombies nevertheless.

Seth started losing hope. Although there were less and less augmented zombies. When he checked most of the zombies who sieged him by now were ordinary ones. Whether they were sent or lured by the stench of blood, he didn ’t know.

Seth couldn ’t go on like this. His arm was numb and his body ached. While he desperately tried to come up with a plan, his body subconsciously kept chopping. He could only thank his growing skills. Even as tired as he was the precision of his swing became a lot better and effective. However, his only fortune was that no intelligent undead had turned up to stop this meat grinder.

In the end there was only one idea he had. It was the masterstroke of his tactics. It was a crazy idea that had taken over his tired mind. A weak smile sneaked on his face as he checked his mana. It had recovered quite a bit in the last hours.

”You forced my hand! Really! Don´t blame me for this ”, he said with a maniacal laugh.

Seth summoned the Spirit Furnace in the gap before him! He ramped up the power until the flames spewed from its top and kicked the furnace over! The blazing flames shot into the small gab filled with blood, body parts and debris and devoured anything in their way.

The fire easily spread among corpses and zombies filling the gap and those waiting outside. They burned like tinder under the pale blue fire. It was the first time something different from grunts reached Seth´s ears. Guttural screeches and scream filled the night as the undead acted as if in pain. Whining and tumbling around, hitting others in their desperate throws to put out the fire.

The flames jumped from undead to undead and onto the surroundings. In a matter of moments, the fire spread all over the building.

Like before in City B, a whole slew of kill messages dinged away in his head almost giving him a headache! It kept going for a while before it slowed down. The fire probably killed most zombies in the vicinity. When Seth dismissed the Spirit Furnace, the fire had already spread all over the place and started devouring the buildings structure.

He relied on his resistance to withstand the heat and noticed, that neither the heat nor the flames surrounding him did any damage. Seth could freely move withing the sea of flames!

He used this to concentrate on dodging falling debris and find his ways to safe spots within the fire. Soon Seth reached a balcony on the second story and could see the streets below. Except for some burning corpses they were completely empty! The undead parade was gone! Had the undead evacuated to dodge the fire? It didn ’t matter now!

At this point he activated , climbed down to ground level and sneaked into the building on the other side of the street. There were some lone zombies here, but Seth managed to sneak past them and up the stairs. And no matter how much his tired legs screamed, he kept going up the stairs until he was almost at the roof.

Only then did he pick a door and entered a new apartment. It actually looked a lot better in here. When he found the quite clean bed in the bedroom his heart jumped. There was no way Seth could resist. He barricaded all doors up to the bedroom before throwing his backpack to the side and lying down. This had been a really terrifying night. He hoped that the sun would soon rise and ban those undead back into the shadows. And then, during the day, he would go around and burn down their hideouts when they can´t run! It was a happy thought before he fell asleep.

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