Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 296: Olympian Enchantments

Chapter 295: 295 Growing Guild

“I cant believe you. Were you always like this?” Jack spoke to the spear woman beside him and shook his head.

Evees plan had worked wonders.

With Simons Influence, they managed to offer their help as the first guild in Delta on the day after the incident at the stadium. Their offer was like a glass of water to a man dying of thirst in the desert.

Not only were they the first, but their help also didnt end with only offering troops.

If they enlarged Minas Mars shield to cover some of the city, it could free up to five still working field generators. These could be quickly relocated and installed in other areas of Delta.

But the biggest help was that they offered to monitor and protect a huge part of the unprotected city. Even if they lacked the troops to react to every gate, they could inform the authorities even faster than citizens.

It was a blessing since gate locator devices were currently not present in Delta. They existed, but who would need them, when the whole city was covered in field generators? Now they dearly missed them.

Although the offer seemed suspicious at first, it helped that their existence was already known because of their energy deal.

Their name blew up in the city. The news that they used their own resources to shield a part of their city put them in a good light. But it was the rumors of the masked figures suddenly appearing almost immediately after a gate opened and mercilessly slaughtering all invaders, that really grew their name.

People quickly made the connection between them and the masked figures at the stadium.

Their growing popularity eased the recruitment process of many of the targets they wanted to scout and the first parties of the Oathguard. And with Jack Feltons training, they soon started to appear, too.

“No, but I learned some things from the world. The people you help dont really care about why you helped them. Whether you are some selfless hero or just look like one, the people you save dont care.”

“Girl, you are too young for this kind of worldview.”

“Does it change the truth behind it?”

“… No.” the old man sighed. “Fine, lets do this.”

Monique put on her mask, a stylized rabbit, and the two ported to a square in Delta. It was filled with the candidates for the Oathguard who didnt want to take part in the public tournament. Several tens of parties and about 50 solo adventurers.

Jack would oversee the tests this time. He would accompany the parties into the dungeon and duel with the solo adventurers. Although the dungeon runs would take some time, the duels often ended very quickly.

With his experience and skills as an instructor, it didnt need long to judge or even defeat someone in a 1v1 duel. Only 15 of the 50 passed Jacks test. They were not necessarily the most skilled of the bunch but that wasnt the goal. Jack took those with skill and a good personality.

“I have something to do. I will leave them in your hands.” with that Monique left again.

———-Gamma——–

“At least some good news.” Leana sighed.

If only things on this side would go this smoothly. she thought to herself.

After the initial attack of the Zarkic Cult, they had managed to recover and slowly gain the upper hand in the skirmishes. Their preparations to phase over a Starta Village were going smoothly and the refugee camp kept growing.

Until yesterday when a new kind of abomination appeared among the Zarkists. They called those things The Enlightened Ones, but to Leana and her people, they were mindless beats with random abominable mutations.

They were as strong as they were ugly and could be likened to Stone Ogres or Hill Giants in strength. These creatures had a weird impact on their allies from Arget Noire which disrupted the flow in battle.

She had lost many soldiers during the first battles involving these new beasts. To make it even worse, the followers had changed to guerilla tactics and often attacked the refugee camp in small groups at random times.

It wasnt so much their power that was the problem, but their infectiousness. Just a scratch could turn a refugee into a Zarkist and a scratch from these Enlightened Ones could turn them into a creature similar to them.

Her only guess was that the Champion of Zarkon had managed to level up his skills or gained a stronger blessing. They were a real pain in the ass.

All these interruptions kept interfering with the establishment of a Starta Village. It assured her more and more of her assumption that Zarkon and the Theocracy of Chains had struck a deal.

But she could only grit her teeth and clench her fist. As long as she brought over a village, she could turn the situation around.

Just a teleport node would already have helped, but they didnt have the materials to make one. She could only count on bringing over a village.

Screams in the camp pulled her out of her thoughts. Another attack…

————–No Mans Land————-

From Y-City she had kept wandering North East deep into the No Mans Land. The vegetation had already seemed weird before but in the last three months, she had spent in the city it had changed even more.

The trees looked like trees but somehow foreign and almost alien shrubs and plants in-between. Thick fleshy leaves and bulbous buds. It was as if not just alien creatures but even vegetation came through the pathworks.

Her way lead through the mountainous region between the gulfs of Ceta in the south and Sigma in the north, avoiding the thick unnatural forest in the south.

She had already wandered much further than she had ever come before. She was stronger now; fitter. With her higher level and stats, she was able to walk a long distance in a rather short time.

There were no signs of the man who had beaten her up last time. Missing a destination she aimed for Epsilon, the district at the north-eastern coast.

Sometime after passing the place of her defeat, she came across a city. The night was already falling and she could make out the silhouette of the skyline with illuminated windows. There was not supposed to be one, there was no district here. A city from the time before the foundation of the district but not a ruin?

Her interest was piqued by the well-developed defense that guarded the city against outside threats. Big barricades made of concrete and scrap metal made up a sizable city wall. The materials made her think of post-apocalyptic movies. However, the magical symbols completely destroyed that image.

They gave off a dim glow in the dark. It didnt really fit together, but function was more important than form in these times.

After walking along the walls for a while she found a heavily guarded city gate. The guards looked rough and uncivilized. They wore tattered armor and barely maintained weapons. Could such people really survive out here and even as guards?

They didnt look like the kind with the knowledge to build such walls.

“Hey, you! Dont come any closer. We dont take in any more refuge-“

The last rays of the sinking sun illuminated her face and the rough guy immediately stopped talking. His voice had completely change tone when he spoke again.

“Oh, sorry. We couldnt possibly send away a damsel like you,” he said with worry but she could hear his underlying meaning and read the smiles on the faces of his companions.

Disgust grew in her heart but it didnt show on her face. She made a decision, cast a spell, and left.

The guard dirty hands grasped around her shoulder and with some surprise he found that the girl smiled slightly and followed them into the guardhouse without any resistance.

It was only when he and his companions got down to business. They were in the middle of having a good time with the lady when the spell unraveled and they realized in horror what they were doing.

In screams and confusion, they scattered; taking as much distance from each other as they could. Hurriedly they got dressed again, some in shame, others in tears. A few had suffered a little worse than just psychological damage from this experience.

With a malicious smile, she continued on her way. That would be a lesson those guys wouldnt forget in a lifetime.

She didnt have a map skill and could only roughly navigate with a map and a compass.

It was somewhere halfway to Epsilon when weird monsters started to appear in the last few days. Most of the things that crawled out of the gates often fit the description from fantasy and fairy tales. These were different.

They looked like dinosaurs with names like Velkoziraptor, Kleptosuchus, or Alcoholiensis. Some of them were about the size of a human and incredibly fast while others were gigantic and still fast for their size.

The carnivores were quite tricky even for her but at least the herbivores were chill. As long as she was careful and evaded the bigger predators she was not impeded by the change in fauna.

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