Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 327: Losing Home

Chapter 326: Scorched Earth

It was a terrible abyss Seth was staring into as he channeled the demon king of destruction, Abadon.

This was the “Ballad of Destruction”, one of the few pieces praising this mysterious figure.

The simplicity of the title could fool the reader. Its effects were rather profound. It roused the thirst for destruction of anyone that heard it and fueled itself from these desires. In exchange, it increased the destructive power of the bards attacks.

The greater the desires the more destructive the power.

He had even used a short song of berserk before starting. Now he could feel the music stoke his wrath and hatred even more while the dark abyss kept greedily sucking it in while continuously strengthening his magic.

At this point, the fireballs raining onto the forest had the size of a car and an impact like a bomb. Where they fell, they blew away everything. No monster, no blob, not even the giant trees withstood the explosion.

The voices of the forest cried in defiance but could only try to dodge a direct hit, even if it meant dodging to the burning aftermath of a previous impact.

After a few minutes, the song finally came to an end and the bombardment waned. The stampede was gone, and the area of a small city was completely deforested. The place was still covered in flames and littered with the burning corpses of fallen trees.

However, some of the blobs had survived. They had shrunk because big parts of their bodies were burned, but they survived. And despite many trees being broken, many of their roots were fine.

The caravan, too, had survived the ordeal. Mostly because they didnt suffer any direct hit.

Before the traveler could exhale or the piles of leaves could rejoice, they came face to face with the true horror of reality.

!

Thanks to the of Cloak of Hekate, which perfectly replicated the previous baptism of fire, another bombardment came barreling down on the survivors. The only difference was that it was more widely spread this time, increasing the area of effect even further.

Before the second fire rain could end the song sounded through the forest again. But the firebombs raining down did not further increase in strength, instead, it was the sea of fire that covered the ground that became hotter and hotter.

Burning the earth itself and burning the roots below. Independent from the fire rain the soul fire greedily spread further and further devouring any leave and eating away at trees in its way. The only patches spared from the fire were the campsite and Seths camp.

When his mental energy finally ran out, he stopped singing and controlling the fire. The flames weakened but kept happily spreading in the forest. Thanks to Tisiphones Ring and its increase of mental energy recovery he was able to evade a massive headache from severe depletion.

~Are you good now? ~

Puffles asked. Seth took a deep breath and look at the wide sea of flames.

“I feel refreshed, yeah.”

~See, I told you he would be okay after venting a little~ the caterpillar spoke to Duhu in a smug tone.

“A little…” Duhu mumbled and looked at the hellscape left behind.

>

“How long do you think will this fire burn?” Duhu asked and distracted Seth from the system notifications.

“Hmm, I dont know? It may go on for a while…” he answered as he looked into the distance with where he saw the flames happily spreading among the trees like a wildfire.

“We might need to stay for a few days.”

Besides his evolved skill, he had also leveled up and his own level went up by two, reaching 52. It was a shame nothing he did at the stronghold really helped him level up.

came with no description at all. Seth would have to experiment to see what effects exactly it had. For now, only one thing was for sure, his connection with fire had grown a lot stronger.

“A few days?” Duhu asked

“Yeah, at that point the fire should have enough of a head start on us, so we dont have to wait on it.”

When the flames in their surroundings finally died down there was nothing left but a grey wasteland. A thick layer of fine, powdery ash covered everywhere the flames had come past.

When the heat finally receded enough for them to leave the barrier, Duhu and Evan went over to the caravan to see if they could help with anything. Seth stayed because he had burned through a lot of energy and wasnt really in the state to help others.

This was the second time in roughly a week that he was this exhausted. He started getting tired of playing the hero… or was he an anti-hero? Anyway, he didnt feel like making this his routine. Worrying about others was really tiresome.

The situation the two found when they reached the campsite was rather chaotic. People were arguing all over the place, others were whining and mourning. A lot of Mages laid collapsed on the ground.

Soon later Duhu returned back to ask Seth to come. He was a bearer of bad news.

——————-

Marcel and the other Leaders had a hard time calming the people down and keeping order. The awkward silence between him and Elza didnt help. That their numbers had shrunk significantly didnt either.

It wasnt just the people that died to the attacks of mother nature, but many of the high-level adventurers had teleported home in a panic. There were mostly adventurers below lv. 40 who couldnt fight left which meant the Chimeras and freed people made up the greater part of the current fighting force now.

As such, some among them had come to the conclusion that maybe they should have a little more to say than others. Especially the Demons who managed to keep the greater part of their power were rallying the people.

In their confusion and fear, the people were split. They were easy to manipulate and lashed out at others. It seemed almost impossible to calm them down as people profile themself in an attempt to grasp the power.

The caravan had devolved into a mess of arguments, people screaming and getting violent with each other.

“How troublesome.” a man in flashy armor had appeared at the edge of the campsite. Marcels face lit up when he saw that Seth was about to step in. Maybe he had a good plan to calm the masses? But his face soon fell.

“How about everyone calms down a little, yes?” the blacksmiths voice penetrated the murmur of the crowd.

Many stopped their conversations and brawls to look for the origin of the voice.

“I believe that told you the campfires were a dumb idea. Did you listen? No. I still stepped in and save you. Is this how you want to use your new lease on life? The moment the danger is gone you start ripping each other apart like a pack of rabid hyenas?”

Some looked ashamed but the troublemakers kept trying to raise the crowd.

“So what? Are we supposed to fall on our knees and thank you now?”

“We never asked for your advice or help! What do you want?”

“Yeah, we owe you nothing”

“Do you want us to apologize or something? Do you think you are better than us?!”

Generic phrases like this kept resounding and found open ears with the crowd. Seth blinked a few times as he had a hard time dealing with the human psyche. he pursed his lips and made a decision.

“Yes. In fact, I am better than you. And since you seem to argue about the hierarchy of the caravan, I will throw my hat in the ring.” his voice was oh so disgustingly sweet and stuck in the caravans ears like sticky honey.

“W-Why would you be the leader?”

“Yeah!”

“Who would we follow you!” insecure answers came from the crowd.

The most vocal demon stepped forward and spoke in a demeaning tone. Being a demon he had good resistance to skills like the .

“What right do you have to take control of the caravan?” a similar ripple originated from him making the mob falter.

Seth blinked at him. Then he looked to Marcel who was blinking in a surprised and confused way. Maybe not for the same reason. He looked up to Puffles who was towering over 3m behind him. He let his eyes wander over the desolate wasteland around them.

“Are you serious?”

“Yeah! Nobody wants to follow YOU. Why would you be the leader?” the Demon elaborated smugly.

Seths eyelid slightly twitched.

“Look around you and think thoroughly about your next words.” Seths tone was nothing but polite and friendly, but conveyed his underlying intentions.

The demon smugly looked around him, at the crowd standing behind him, sure that their opinion was in his favor. “You are not fit to-“

The next moment a gloved fist inverted the demons face and catapulted him straight into the crowd.

“You had your chance. I was going to do this nicely, but I see you people understand only one language clearly. I will- “

Seth was interrupted by the demon who managed to get back on his feet. He charged straight at him.

It was just a blacksmith. He had surprised him, that was all! His eyes ripped wide open in disbelief when the blacksmith simply dodged and gave the monster behind him a sign. The next moment the demon was bound by chains of light.

“- take control. And I appoint the previous leaders to keep their roles. Those who dont listen to them awaits severe punishment. Puffles shall demonstrate.”

It followed a demonstration of the demons skin being burned away by a skill of holy light, followed by a healing spell that recovered him to full health. The Nightmare Centipede kept repeating this twice before Seth could stop it.

“T-Thats enough, Puff! You can stop now. I said you can- Puffles, calm down! You are going a little too far…” when he finally managed to stop his pet the demon had already turned into a broken mess.

He was unresponsive and stayed lying on the ground, sobbing, and in a fetal position.

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