Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 183: Evee Edmonts

It slightly reminded Seth of his exploration of Deltan. The city was partly in ruins and severely marred by the activities of all kinds of giant and humanoid monsters. Not just traces of fights but also signs of primitive settlement or nests.

Graffiti and broken barricades bore witness to human habitation past the apocalypse. Dried blood could be seen here and there but there were no corpses. An ecosystem full of monsters and desperation would not waste any resources.

Seth was using his to navigate then and they had left the highway and entered one of the narrower normal streets between the ruins. They had spotted flying creatures above the highway from afar and fathomed the chance be spotted was slimmer here.

But they had not gotten very far when they heard a soul-stirring screech from above. On the peak of a crumbled rooftop sat a gargoyle. Its wings were wide open as it screamed at them as if to provoke and intimidate them.

It was not as big as the things they had seen from a distance, but it was troublesome.

~Kill it quickly and hide in the building! ~ The Lich warned them via telepathy.

Link and Seth shot at the screecher, easily reaping its life with surprising ease. Even so, it had a higher level it was not a strong creature, especially not if measured against their weapons. They hurriedly broke open the closest entrance door to hide inside.

Just before closing the door, they got a glimpse at why the lich had hurried to warn them. The scream was not just a weak sound attack, its main function was to call the swarm! Big bulky gargoyles were gathering the skies above!

The bodies were big and grey like a boulder and their batwings looked disproportionate to the body like those of a fat fly. Despite looking clunky and slow they had arrived at an unprecedented rate. The fact that they looked so slow, but were actually quite fast made them very dangerous.

They were also not small in numbers as at least 30-40 individuals had gathered at the call of the annoying little screecher. Using would have alarmed them, so they needed to depend on Al ’s

~ They range between lv.40 to lv.50. They have incredible strength and defense. You should hide for now and go on after they leave. ~

Following her advice, they activated their spells and skill to hide their presence and waited. They used the break to eat some rations and recover their stamina. When the gargoyles did not find or see anyone after 15 minutes they dispersed again.

The hunter took a moment to look for the screecher ’s corpse, but it was gone. This ecosystem did not waste anything. Even if it was the corpse of a comrade.

The party changed its approach after running into the screecher. Instead of using the streets, they changed to traversing the buildings and ruins. Like this, they were only for a few moments in the open when crossing the road to the next building.

They had not done this before, because the narrow space in a building was not favorable to them. In case other monsters inhabited the ruins and decided to stage an ambush on them, it would be harder to cope with.

It proved to be less dangerous than they thought. Seth guesses that it was because this was the territory of the gargoyles. They did not meet any dangerous creature in the building. The detour through the buildings and ruins cost them some time but nothing more.

They traveled a good part of their journey in the territory of the gargoyles. The change was evident when they left it behind. Monsters of human size and humanoids like mutated beasts or merpeople became more frequent.

They had probably circumvented the slums completely by traveling under the ”protection ” of the gargoyles and came right into the multicultural hotchpotch of the abandoned zone. It was not just merpeople and their monstrous creation left from the war that they saw, but they also came across the settlement of orcs and lizardmen and the nests of wolves.

It was the aftermath of many different dungeon breaks and invasions through the pathwork. This place was actually in a kind of balance where all these beasts were in a standoff and kept each other in check.

The party did the only sensible thing. Sneak past all bigger groups and get rid of any individuals they came across as quietly as possible.

If this had been in a game, Seth would have been intent on stirring up some trouble and tilt this balance into a full-on massacre. But right now, the quest came first. He had to find out whatever had happened to Evee and bring her back if she was still alive.

They spent the night in a relatively intact department store. Seth would not go out of his way to plunder at this point in time. But since a jewelry shop was throwing alluring glances at him, he packed up the whole jewelry section and whatever he found in the safe.

Electric watches were not working in Y-City, but he found a luxurious selection of mechanic watches in the safe. He could sell these as is and maybe enchant one for each party member. Watches took the same place as bracelets in the system menu, it would be a shame to waste such a precious space.

As for the jewelry, he would dismantle and melt down those he could not use and enchant the others as is. He would give them simple enchantments in his free time. It would not give him much proficiency, but it sounded fun to flood the market with ”cheap ” enchanted stuff.

The next day they finally arrived in the area of Arigiri. The oceanic creatures had grown in numbers here. There were slime-covered tunnels and caves dug into the buildings and streets. The city was also distinctively more destroyed.

Broken down and burned-out ruins, signs of claws, and destructive magic everywhere. Rusty and broken firearms were littered among the rubble. It was still the time back then when people had not realized yet that firearms did not work on these otherworldly and magical monsters.

The party did not get around fights in this area, but the beasts here were unorganized and their advantage in levels was not great enough to overcome their unfair gear. But the beast gave a good amount of experience and soon the people in the part started leveling up one by one.

The last to level up was actually Seth when he finally reached lv.28. Several skirmishes later they finally entered the quest area. What greeted them here was silence.

The place lacked monsters; it was almost eerie after they had slaughtered their way in.

”I don ’t have a good feeling about this… ” Link mumbled.

”Well, we are going in anyways, ” Seth answered.

There was a slight resistance like a temporary headache as they entered deeper into the quest area. But it was nothing they worried about.

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