Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 325: 325.Excessive Leaf Blowing

Chapter 324: Fleischwölfe

Seths party was camping in the dark, far away from the camping site. They had their portable barriers and the wall called Puffles to keep them safe over the night.

In the distance, the entire campsite was illuminated in the shine of fires. The travelers were spread on the ground beside the fires, sleeping while enjoying their cozy warmth. Only the night guard was awake, but their concern was directed at keeping the fires alive more so than keeping an eye on the surroundings.

It was Duhu the powerful beast warrior who woke up first. Second Puffles and third Seth. Something had woken them, though they could not explain what exactly. They looked towards the campsite where just at this moment the lights suddenly started dimming and they heard a bloodcurdling scream echo through the night.

It had begun.

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Tey felt pretty satisfied with himself. With a smug smile, he sat beside a big campfire and ate some well-cooked meat.

A lot of his compatriots had congratulated him on his bravery and gifted him all kinds of stuff. His ego had soared, and he even had the balls to ridicule the blacksmith that kept talking about their doom.

Sure, he had freed them but that didnt make him some all-knowing god. He took a swig of the expensive wine one of the porters had secretly given him. Life was great.

With a cozy feeling in his filled stomach and the relaxing fog of intoxication blurring his mind he fell asleep.

It was a cold breeze that woke him up. He had forgotten to get a blanket. Didnt he fall asleep beside the fire? Drowsy and with a slight headache he looked around and the fire had been extinguished. A pile of leaves and dirt had suffocated the campfire, but he was not in the state of mind to take notice.

Where was the guard? Tey looked around. Ah! There he was. The lazy bum had fallen asleep on duty. Still a bit tipsy he stumbled towards the guard laying on the ground.

“Hey, Man! You should just fall asleep on duty!” he said with a chuckle and tried to wake. Tey shook him and gave him light slaps to the cheek.

He needed a moment to process what happened next. The head of the guard rolled away. He stared at a cleanly cut neck as the head had come to a stop a few inches away. Only then did he notice all the dark blood that had drenched the dark forest floor.

His stomach convulsed and he was trapped in a mix of throwing up and inarticulate whimpering. Even when his stomach was empty it kept churning and he could only sit there kneeling over the puddle of vomit.

Teys thoughts were jumbled. He had to warn the caravan that something had happened. He wanted to scream. His legs were weak, his stomach- did his vomit just move?

At first, he thought he was still drunk when he saw a small motion in the puddle below him. Staring at it a small leaf covered in puke had lifted itself from the ground and started shaking off the yucky stuff.

Maybe this wasnt real, and he was still dreaming? The leaf was dark, almost black, with serrated edges and six spindly legs to walk on. Suddenly his attention was disrupted by screams from somewhere in the camp.

He heard a high-pitched sound from below and stumbled away, losing his footing he fell onto the corpse of the guard. A tremendous pain burned at his shoulder where a deep cut had split his leather armor.

He found that the leaf was gone and looked around in shock to find it a few meters behind him. This time he could see it launch at him with incredible speed. Screaming he rolled away to dodge, stumbled to his feet, and tried to flee.

More and more screams woke others all around the camp which sprang a huge commotion All the fires extinguished, the guards dead and the terrifying leaf creatures were jumping around like fleas with every jump being a lethal attack.

The warriors and magicians woke up and sprang into action. With how small and fast they were it was hard to hit them with ordinary attacks. They held back on bigger attacks with an area of effect because they could damage the carts or hurt people.

But as others kept being injured or killed, they stopped caring and did everything to kill the aggressive foliage. Most effective were auto-target magics like Chain Lightning which jumped between several hostile targets.

The campsite had descended into chaos with noncombatants fleeing into the woods and the lights of skills illuminating the twilight. The sounds of thunder and explosions echoed far and wide under the canopy of trees.

——————————–

“Should we… maybe help?” Duhu asked unsurely

“Nah, they are fine. Look! They are managing brilliantly.” Seth said as another huge explosion shook the forest floor.

“Really…?” the tiger asked still unconvinced.

~ They are a little loud for my taste. How am I supposed to sleep like this? ~ the centipede complained.

Lynri, Evan, and the Dwarf stayed silent. They didnt feel like they had the right to speak up in this situation. It wasnt like they had much to say, to begin with. Mostly they were just glad not to be caught in the clusterfuck that was going on over there.

“Yeah, yeah. They can deal with that…”

Seth looked off into the distance using the skills of the Eye of Argus.

“What you should be worried about is what comes afterward.”

The blacksmith was sure that this kind of commotion would not stay unnoticed. The campfires had already drawn attention, but a full-blown battle as loud and flashy as that? What would this disgusting place come up with?

The chaos finally toned down after maybe half an hour.

From the direction of the campsite, a figure became visible. A warrior came running to Seths camp. He was covered in bloody cuts but nothing lethal. As he got closer, they recognized who it was. Marcel had finally found the chance to hurry over.

“Mr. Smith! Are you okay?” he asked out of breath.

“Oh yeah, we are fine. What happened over there?”

“We were attacked by some kind of leaf creatures…” Marcell said embarrassedly. He wanted to find a chance to ask for help but Seths tone was so casual that he didnt know how.

“I see, that explains whats happening over there…” Seth said with some shock on his face.

Marcel turned around and the others followed his gaze. It was nothing in the far-off distance or anything like that. No. Just off in the darkness outside the shine of the campsites lights leaves were roiling in a big dark mass.

Everyone in the campsite had soon noticed it, too. The adventurers started attacking the raving aggregation of darkness, but it had almost no effect as their attacks were simply swallowed.

They all watched as more and more leaves from the surroundings and the crowns of the trees joined until finally, something split off.

From the bowels of the pile of leaves emerged a pack of beasts in the shape of wolves. Hundreds of wolf-shaped beasts started rushing toward the campsite like a wave. They were made up of millions of tiny leaf creatures that made them look like a storm of blades.

Considering what just a single of the leaf creatures could do, just touching them would be worse than falling into a meatgrinder. Atop the raving glob behind the pack, an appendage was formed, and it took a humanoid appearance.

“Begone, bringers of Flame!” a voice made up of many sounds like the rustle of wind in the trees said. All over the place roots like vines emerged from the ground and started attacking.

Was the whole forest attacking them now?

The warriors were occupied with defending against the roots while the magicians bombarded the wave of wolves. But the constantly undulating bodies made magic look ineffective as the damage kept being distributed.

It seemed like magic was simply ground down and swallowed, vanishing into the depths of the creatures. Dimming the morale of the defenders.

“I dont think they will be able to manage that…Shouldnt we help?” Duhu commented.

“Ah, yeah,” Seth answered a little distracted.

His enemy had revealed its cards, but he was caught in the thought of how lucky he was that he never encounters this back then. He needed a moment before he clenched his fists and shoved it aside. Things were different now. He had burned down less-flammable things than a goddamn forest.

Seth would never again be afraid of the darkness that lurked between trees.

It was his time to shine. Literally.

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