Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 319: Through the Grapevines

Chapter 318: Dealing with Stuff

Seth woke up in a soft and warm bed. He had drunk a lot, but the hangover was manageable. He still remembered that Lynri had helped him walk… Looking around he found that she had brought him to one of the big rooms that previously belonged to the higher priests.

Someone had gotten rid of the dead body and changed the bedding. It wasnt the bloodstained mess he had left. Sleeping beside him was the priestess in question.

Sleeping beside him was the priestess in question!

What happened?! In shock, he lifted the blanket and found both of them fully clothed. His heart stopped rushing and he calmed down again.

~ I thought you liked women. Arent taking her? ~

“Stop right there Puffles. I m a taken man. Unless Mina agrees to let her join, I wouldnt touch another woman. I mean, the likelihood of Mina enjoying a third party joining is pretty high anyway.”

~ Wait!? You hooked up with that dessert stealing minx?! I will not accept this! ~

“Are you still hung up about that? Also, thats not your decision!”

~ The great me will NEVER forget a debt! I was saving the ice cream for last, and she just TOOK it! She took it from me! Cant you understand my anguish? How can you betray me like this?! I would expect it from the nympho, but not you! ~

“Puff, listen-“

~ No! ~

“Listen, I will-“

~Im not listening to YOU! ~

“I will buy you a wagonload of ice cream, okay? So much that you will get brain freeze and indigestion for days. Okay?”

~ R-really? ~

“You will hate me for the amounts of ice cream I will force you to eat because it will be so much, we cant refrigerate it and you will have to eat it all in one sitting. Deal? ~

~Deal. ~

~ Drama Queen. ~ Al interjected.

~ Sexmaniac!~

“Please bicker among yourself and not in my head. Having a hangover is already bad enough, even without the voices in my had having an argument.”

“Oh, hey. Seth, you awake?” Lynri announced that she was awake, too.

“Good morning. How are you?”

“Great! But a question kept me awake for a long time.”

He looked at her and waited for her to spit it out.

“What going to happen from now on? You WILL keep your promise, right? You said you would take me to Delta. Do you have a plan? You wouldnt go back on your word, right?”

“… What a great question to ask early in the morning when I have a headache. Dont worry. If I wanted to break my promise, I would have broken the space lock and runoff earlier.”

This question brought up one of Seths biggest headaches and the reason he didnt deactivate the space lock. Many of the adventurers here were above lv. 40. Once the lock was gone, they could simply use and return to Delta.

But those below 40, like Evan, and the foreigners like Wedan, or Lynri, that were not part of the system were stuck here.

From his Seth knew they were somewhere east of Alpha, in the vicinity of Deltan. Roughly where Simons Starta Village was located before. This meant they were half a super-continent away from Delta.

And those who couldnt use would need to travel the whole distance by foot. This could take months. There were three districts between their current location and Delta. Ther were Alpha, Cerebellum, and Ypsilon. As far as Seth knew the first two were completely covered in forest.

Seth remembered how they talked about the Silver Road in history. It was a long trade route from northeast to center-south of the continent. People in ancient times would spend years traveling back and forth…

Seth was not the only one who was thinking about the future and the way home. He was in the middle of explaining the dilemma to Lynri when a messenger knocked on the door just at this moment.

The chosen leaders of the different groups currently present in the stronghold were holding a meeting to decide on their next steps. As the hero, who had liberated them, he was invited to join them.

It was probably his best chance not to deal with the journey alone. Seth washed up with life magic and set off to join the meeting in one of the bigger meeting rooms of the castle.

On the big dark wooden table sat 6 people. Besides Marcel and Elza who presented the adventurers from Delta, there were the leaders of the freed people, the races, as well as the representative of the rebels and the chimeras.

“Its great you decided to join.” Marcel greeted him while everyone else just stared silently.

“Ermm, yeah. Hi?” he said awkwardly and sat down.

“Since everyone has arrived, shall we start?”

The plan was for everyone to state the demands of their groups but the representative of the rebels asked for the word.

” I know all of you have your own ideas and suggestions for the future, but there is something everyone needs to know before we start this talk.”

He paused and looked into the round. Nobody interrupted him, so he continued.

“This stronghold will be gone within a week.”

They all looked at the man in confusion. Everyone except Seth, who had an idea about what he was talking about.

“We checked the different formations. Without the priests that kept supplying them with power, the circle that kept the jungle at bay has stopped functioning. From our estimates, it will take about a week for the wood to take over the stronghold.”

The attendees were shocked and stayed silent with a grave expression on their faces and they tried to process the new information. Everyone except the adventurers had some plans to stay in the stronghold for a while.

The Rebels and former slaves had no way to return, and the chimeras had no place to return to. Only a few of them had fragmented memories of their past. Now everyone needed to think of a way to leave this place.

“You dont seem surprised, hero.” The chimera suddenly talked to him. She was mostly human but kind of stretched with 2 pairs of arms. From what Seth had seen she was a power caster of some sort. Her completely green eyes with yellow patches gave her an alien feeling.

“Yeah. I have seen what those trees can do and how fast they grow. That it will even take a week is the surprising part.”

“How would you now?” the rebel suddenly interjected.

Seth deliberated whether to tell them but ended up telling them.

“I am originally from here. I was here during the first days of the apocalypse when the forest started growing. It took mere days to completely cover whole cityscapes.”

Now everyone was looking at him

“W-What?”

For the next 30 minutes, he was forced to tell them everything he knew about the approximate situation of the southeastern corner of the continent. Most of what he knew about that, he knew from Simon.

He told them about the hanging tree and his experience in the corrupted woods. Also, that the direct connection to Delta would most likely lead them through half a continent of terrifying woods.

Nobody had to speak it out loud as their expressions were sufficient. They all came to the conclusion that forming one big, joint caravan would ultimately be the best decision to get everyone safely out of this hellhole.

The conversation promptly changed to talks about their travel route. They all were clear on the fact that going through the woods was the worst possible decision.

“If everyone agrees we can follow the route we came up with before. Although we didnt know that about the dangers of the forest we planned to aim for Gamma.” Marcel suggested.

Among the group of adventurers behind Marcel and Elza were not just those from Delta. Other ori humas had been caught by the Theocracy. These people told them of a free city in the No Mans Land to the north called Hope.

The Adventurers had planned to send a few back to Delta and inform the Chrona Empire of their current situation. To their knowledge, the Princess and her forces should be present in Gamma where they fought the Zarkists.

The caravan could aim for Hope, stock up on supplies there, and then go in a straight line to Gamma where they hoped to meet the empires forces. According to the locals, there was no forest like this further in the north.

Meaning this route could also mostly avoid the various dangers Seth had told them about and they had a safe checkpoint.

Seth was glad that others were pulling more than just their own weight. It meant he could just go along with the caravan and more or less relax. They could even send letters to Delta using returning adventurers as carrier pigeons.

The result of the meeting was the Great Caravan Plan and as a consequence, the stronghold became busy for the next few days. The whole structure was looted and anything useful was packed up for travel.

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