Seth woke up from a deep sleep in the middle of the night. He came out of his tent and saw the rest of the caravan already on their feet.
A loud echoing chanting that was resounding through the mountains had woken up everyone in the camping site. High above in the air floated and figure in flowing, windswept robes. The dark blue fabric obscured the figure ’s face, but the chanting was clearly coming from it.
Seth knew the language it was chanting. It sounded exactly like his smithing ballads. The chant stopped for a moment and a glowing red magic formation appeared on the ground below them. The formation followed a heavy pressure that made it hard for anyone to move.
Seth felt a weakness and tardiness take over his body. He was hard to think as if he had honey in his head. His movements were impaired as if he was moving underwater.
< Ding! You have been affected by the negative status effect "malady ". -50%: Movement Speed, Strength. Increased Resource Consumption depending on level. (15%)>
15%? Seth was lv. 42 and still had a 15% increase. How high was it with the lower level?
”hahaha, there is nothing you can do anymore! Tonight, I shall sacrifice you as the energy source of my spell and open the gates to immeasurable treasure! Rejoice! Your death will be for a greater cause. ”
The chant ended and a terrifying rumble filled the world. The ground vibrated and they soon saw the cause. A white wall of torrential snow was rushing at them from the mountains above.
A massive avalanche was coming down to crush everyone at the campsite.
”Shields! Set up the shields! ” Drosi screamed and broke the silence. Casters and caravan people hurried to set up their shields and the barriers of the carriages. Tekar even stalked to the edge of their circle and activated the barrier on his shield.
When the masses of snow came upon them the night became even darker. Like a tsunami, the avalanched threatened to smash the shields.
~Hurry and activate your fire shield! And add your
It was a possibility Seth had felt but avoided since the magic would use several times the mental energy and mana. It was not the time to think of the cost. Seth cast the fire shield but used
The hemisphere of fire shone bright like a flash and covered the campsite just before the avalanche hit the barriers. The snow instantly vaporized when touching the barrier hot enough to melt steel resulting in a steam explosion that stunted the inertia of the avalanche.
In a matter of seconds, he was sucked dry, and the barrier vanished. Seth ’s shield did not hold long but it was enough to stop a lot of the force the snow masses initially had. All the barriers now had to do was withstand the weight.
A massive headache assailed him, and he had to sit down, as he watched the snow pile up on top of the dome. It reminded him of the waters that had swallowed Starta. The casters did their best to supply the barriers with mana, but the sound cracks could be heard all over the place.
The formation that was still weighing down on them did its best to hamper their efforts. But the barriers held on, for now.
”hahaha, you think you can survive? Nobody will survive! All of you need to die here. ” the voice penetrated even through the thick snow and barriers. The next moment they heard the impact of projectiles and the coughs of the casters that maintained the shields.
Seth just wanted to summon his trusty lich when the impacts suddenly stopped, and a voice was transmitted to them.
~ E-Ermm, can you hear me? This is Manila of the Mount Agra People. Please stay calm and persist. We will start measured to remove the snow masses now. ~
”What was going on? ” was written on the face of everyone present. The situation did not worsen, so they decided to wait. Nobody had a better idea anyway. The magicians kept drinking mana potions while the others could only wait and resist the magic formation.
”What do you think? ” Drosi had shuffled beside Seth. Both were not in the best condition. One had blasted everything he had and was now down with a headache while the other needed to maintain a huge shield, or else they would be crushed.
”We can only hope they really are friendly. In the meantime, we could try to do something about this formation. ”
”Unfortunately, I am not very educated in this kind of magic, ” Drosi admitted apologetically.
”Don ’t worry, I have an expert. ”
~ Al? ~
~ Yeah, yeah… try scouting the camping site for me so I can get a better view of the set-up. ~
Fighting against nausea and his pulsating had he started stumbling around the site following the directions of the sorceress. Most people he came across were close to a mental breakdown, especially those from the other caravan.
His party and the Tijaahk fared just fine. Most of them had a level that would allow them to survive even if the snow came barreling down.
~ Okay, I got it. Assemble the party, we have to destroy some focus point to deactivate this thing ~
The party and guardians of the cat people came together, and Seth explained her instructions to them. Bluntly speaking this magic formation was a spell that needed a lot of preparation. As long as they destroyed the precious materials that acted as a focus for the formation, they would be able to deactivate it.
Destroying them was easy, but knowing their location was the hard part. The lich hat already solved this riddle and sent the minions out to do the dirty work. In a matter of minutes, the formations below their feet dimmed and everyone could move and breathe comfortably again.
Maintaining the shields also became easier without the formations debuff. All that was left was waiting and hoping their helpers were not actually their executioners.
The light of morning was breaking through the thinning snow layer, and they could see water running down along the barriers. Seth had napped for a while and was woken by a ray of light when the top of the dome was free of snow.
”Hello? This is Manila. Please persevere. We have reached the barrier and should be able to excavate it soon. ”
The snow pressing on the shields slowly melted away under the magic of the helpers. They could finally see the faces of the people who helped them after the caravan was freed from their cold grave.
The Mount Agra people were clad in thick padded leather armor, that protected against weather and attacks. Manila who had spoken to them was a stocky middle-aged woman with a kind face. Some among the group were resting a little distance away. Blood hat stained their armor.
Drosi, Seth, and Nen, the representative of the other caravan sat together with her at their fire and listened to what had happened above ground. The other people were unable to find the demon from yesterday, that was why Nen was chosen to speak for them.
Manila told them that they were on patrol when they heard the weird chanting in the mountains. Mount Agra was one of the few places that had refused to relocate to the districts. She didn ’t go too much into detail, but she mentioned a sacred duty. They had lived in the mountains ever since.
After the apocalypse, they made a deal with the Chrona Empire, just like Delta, and maintained security on these few viable routes that still connected the districts. In exchange, they were supplied with food, training, and gear. They even showed a certificate from the empire which Drosi confirmed to be real.
When they saw someone attacking the camping site, they immediately tried to apprehend the Attacker. It was a vicious find and ended with the injured mage being able to escape. Giving chase was only the second priority at that point as they hurried to free the caravans from the snow.
She invited them to follow her and stay at Mount Agra until they recovered from this incident.
The other caravan declined the offer as they wanted to get back to Delta as fast as possible. Seth and Drosi on the other hand welcome the opportunity of a small break and trade.
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