Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 198: Return to sender

The group of Tuatha de reached the roof of the building. They knew there had been people until just moments ago but they somehow vanished. Had they jumped dimensions? Their leader, a young man approaching the 400 cycles (~450 years), was grasping in the air while mumbling a spell.

”There are definitely signs of spatial magic. To be able to do this without the magic of the fog… it must have been a terrifying druid or shaman to cast this spell. ”

They investigated the roof but could not find anything else out of the ordinary. It was only when they tried to leave the roof when they noticed that their way back was blocked. A red transparent membrane of magic was blocking their exit. It only became visible once they touched it. And in the same breath, the rest of the membrane was exposed.

The whole roof was surrounded by a bubble of transparent red power looking flimsy to the eyes, but sturdy to the touch. The magic caged them on the rooftop. Neither magic nor physical force could break this alien spell and after several hours of trying to escape, they came to a horrifying realization.

It was the innocent question of a tired warrior who suddenly asked.

”Hey, Iach… doesn ’t this barrier seem to shrink? ”

In the beginning, the barrier encased the whole rooftop but when they checked it, the rim and balustrade were now outside of the magic wall! The space was really shrinking, and the walls were moving closer!

They were almost twenty people and with the speed, the walls were closing in, they would become paste in less than 2 days. Horror filled their hearts and panic their minds. They had already tried everything they could. There was no way out.

”Silence! Everyone doesn ’t lose hope. The other groups will soon come looking for us if we don ’t return. Maybe they can do something from the outside. ” the leader spoke up.

After his speech, most of them somewhat calmed down. The leader was right. Maybe this spell was only strong from the inside. The others might be able to break it from the outside. With some hope, they waited for their companions to find and save them.

Soon the scouts of other groups had found them. At this point, the magic barrier was clearly recognizable as a cube. The captured glowpeople inside were already huddling together in fear. Not only were the walls coming closer, but they also became less and less transparent. They were slowly turning into solid crimson walls.

Outside their comrades tried everything they could to break this vicious barrier. But even with a spell using the combined chanting of all 50 of them, they were unable to break it.

Of course, this was what Al ’Zalsa wanted to begin with. This was her present, how could others break her spell. All the ones outside could do was watch the horrible spectacle happen. As the walls closed in the people inside could not help but cry and scream. They begged for their life with tears and snot staining their beautiful faces. They hammered with their hands against the walls and begged the onlookers to do something.

And soon the cries and screams turned from those of panic into those of pain. As they were slowly crushed against each other, and their armors and weapons dug into each other flesh. Raw animalistic screams echoed into the fog as the cube shrunk more and more, crushing the people inside.

These were scenes and cries that would haunt them in their darkest nightmares. The feeling of helplessness as they watched their friends and colleagues die in such a way.

The screams fell silent one by one as those inside lost their lives. The walls now had turned opaque and crimson red. They no longer saw what was going on and only the sound of breaking bones and crunching flesh escaped from the red box.

There was no way they would ever forget this sound.

This was far above and beyond anything Seth had imagined when he said to leave them a present. He had thought of a bomb or a curse or something. The 200-year-old Lich on the other hand decided on a psychological trauma for those left behind.

It kept shrinking down to the size of a small package. It stopped shrinking; ribbons and the rim of a top appeared. It was a present. A small crimson red present filled with the crushed and compressed remains of the comrades.

Many of those that had watched this spectacle had already run away when they could not take it anymore. Only the commander of the search team and some of those with a stronger stomach were left to look at this present. They were shell-shocked and only managed to move after staring at the present for several hours.

The first thing they did was not approach the present but empty their stomachs over the rim of the building. In all their long lives they had never seen something so cruel. Whoever was responsible needed to be punished!

Disturbed but determined the commander took the heavy present. They immediately returned to the royal capital to report. Seeing their pale faces and listening to their reports the decisions fell fast.

Their high king would not tolerate the existence of someone so abominable. Especially not after killing over 20 of his people. No matter how often hostile creatures invaded their world through the fog, they seldomly saw the need to retaliate.

The best druid was Dadag was sent to analyze the remnant of spatial magic and find a way to follow those fiends. It took a week for the Druid to reverse engineer the magic and the destination. In the meantime, the subjugation force that would pursue the fiends was already prepared and on standby.

Under the royal edict ’s orders, the druid opened a fog portal for their warrior to invade this different world. The disciplined troop of elites crossed the fog and entered the Field of Canyons on the other side.

It looked not much different from the region in their world. The canyons and pillars were filled with ugly goblins but the air in this place was filled with several times the amount of magic. They felt as if they were bathing in a dragon vein.

The crowd of goblins that filled the canyon was split into two kinds. Some stood still and stared at their beautiful faces; dumbfounded. The other half had fled the moment they saw these alien warriors stepping out of the void.

Decisively the leader grabbed the head of one of the petrified goblins and used a spell to search for information. The creature struggled and screamed with tears, snot and drool covering its face. The commander showed mercy as he extracted the information and absorbed the things life force. Its body shriveled up and its life ended just like that.

He gathered that this was a giant city that had recently gone through some kind of catastrophe. There were still several hundreds of millions of enemies, but their power was puny at best. Originally without any magic at all, this world has recently been connected to the pathworks and the natives had just started growing.

His judgment was that there were no creatures that could stop their search. Numbers did not matter before overwhelming power.

He snapped his fingers and his army of 150 elite fighters dispersed to look for clues. All of them wore crystal talismans that could detect the magic signature of the people that had left this ”present ”.

——————————–

The piercing sound of alarm sirens filled the city; signaling the citizens to stay inside. A group of unidentified humanoids had invaded the city and had spread out in the streets. Mark Baker was sitting in his brand-new office and massaging his temples.

Why did this have to happen right after he got the responsibility for this kind of situation? From the reports, it seemed like they were looking for something. Sometimes they would stop moving and stare at their equipment. They would also randomly grab a person and turn them into a desiccated corpse.

Observational skills did not work on them and if they noticed the skill, they would kill the user. Judging from their physical performance they were equal to a level 45 swordsman without equipment. Their arcane skills could not be judged at this point.

A crowd of them was encircling the system church for some reason but did not dare to get closer than 10meters to the building. Aside from the church were 4 more places they were gathering at. A residential area, an old library, the red-light district, and the hunter ’s association.

They did not know what was going on, but they had to do something to stop it. They already mobilized the hunters, the adventurer ’s guild, and the big guilds to deal with the gathering spots. But there were still close to a hundred humanoids running through the streets wreaking havoc.

Mark had no choice but to release their secret forces prematurely. It was the only way to save their citizens.

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