Chapter 342: Snake Magic
Except for their run-in with Master Mountain, there was no special occasion on the travel through the plains.
The monster encounters had decreased a lot since they left the forest. The plains seemed peaceful at first look, but that was because they were almost completely devoid of life.
It was so peaceful, that it was eerie. There had to be gates or even dungeons opening in this place, right? Where did they go? This question made them nervous and careful, even though they were traveling across an absolute quaint landscape.
On the third day, they finally saw a beast. The scouts reported a giant ram and a herd of big sheep. When Seth finally saw what they were talking about he understood why they described it the way they did.
The creature was as big as an elephant. It looked very imposing with its regal stature and two pairs of black horns. The herd was peacefully grazing on the plain. At least until one of the scouts got too close and was almost trampled to death.
Fortunately, they only lashed out and did not escalate into a stampede. It was fortunate because they soon found out who were the owners of the herd.
Giants. Actual Giant. Not just big people, or really big monsters. According to the scouts they were a group of 30-40-meter-tall humanoids wearing rough clothes made from fleece.
“Lets stay far away from those.”
Was the unanimous decision. They made a huge turn to evade the giant territory. It would cost them another day, but it was worth it.
In the meantime, Seth had more than enough time to get a good look at the books the master had given him. He didnt have anything important to do anyway.
The artificer book did not directly give him any blueprint, unfortunately, but it explained some of the principles behind them. It is similar, but also different from how things worked in the system. Only at the very end, there were some detailed instructions on how some of these items could be created.
The Alchemy book was straight up a compendium of recipes for what it called “the most common pills and potions for beginners” as well as the explanations for the individual steps.
It seemed interesting, but Seth had no clue about alchemy ingredients. The names of plants and stuff sounded weird and were probably not the ones ordinarily used in the context of the system. He would have to bother Alison with these books, to see if she could understand them.
Seth was itching to try some of them out for fun, especially stuff like “Basic Body Strengthening Concoction”. There were a few medicines described to improve and refine the human body that sounded like the potions and food that could give a permanent buff.
All of this was also new to AlZalsar and the lich, too, absorbed the new knowledge with much fervor. Puffles and the Imugi on the other hand did not really seem to care.
Two days after they evaded the giant, they could finally see the skyline of hope on the Horizon.
It looked like one would expect a city to look after several decades with very little population. Most of the bigger buildings were in disrepair and overgrown with trees and vines. Only a small part of the old city was surrounded by a makeshift wall and looked to be maintained.
The city was unlike the last bastion of civilization in an empty no mans land they had heard of. It was much more like Pip had described, looking like a bunch of cavemen squatting in ruins of a fallen civilization. The wall gave a very post-apocalyptic impression while the smoke of many fires, that clouded the horizon, showed a lack of technology.
The existence of a caravan with over 400 people was hard to hide on a wide plain. Thats why they did not even try to begin with. The caravan waited at some distance away from the city.
To Seths dismay, it was decided that he should lead the party that would visit the city. The only person even unhappier than him Pip, who was asked to come along as a native. She was unable to come up with a good excuse not to do it.
Seth, Pip, the chimera leader, and some of the warriors set off to enter Hope and gather information. They just wanted to set off, when they saw a group of people leave through the crude gated of Hope.
Their group of over 100 was riding on horses and similar mounts. The crowd was a mess of laughter and whistling. They easily outnumbered the 15 people Seth had set off with.
“We have to hurry back to the caravan! Thats a bandit group!” Pip shrieked and warned everyone.
They had to return and get everyone to get in formation an-
“Dont worry so much, Pip,” Seth said leisurely.
The blacksmith had checked the rowdy attacker the moment they left the gates. With
Like in an old movie about the expansion to the west, the horde on their mounts started riding in a big circle around them. The manic cackling and whistling became even more high-pitched and crazy.
One figure from among them stopped and came before them. It was a tall, burly man. He wore a leather armor with a decorative sheepskin draped over his shoulders. He also rode a big ram.
“I am the leader of the Sheep Pokers and-“
He was interrupted by Seths uproarious laughter.
“- and we will spare you if. ” he tried again when Seth had calmed down a little but once again, the blacksmith could not hold back his laughter.
“Hahaha, Sheep Pokers! I mean, did you come up with that yourself, or did someone dub you like that after you tried to screw your mount!?”
“You! As you wish! I wanted to show mercy-“
“hahaha, you are a true comedian.” Seth wheezed.
“Okay, okay, I really needed that one. Things had been a little tense lately.” he wiped away and suddenly spoke in a serious tone.
“As thanks, I will give YOU a chance to survive. If you and your clowns retreat within the next 30 seconds, I wont kill you.”
The bandits broke out in arrogant laughter themself when they heard him speak. They were just 15 people against the 100 of them.
The bandit leader did not understand what was happening, but when Seth spoke, there was no way he could interrupt him. Something in his voice assured him of his demise. This man was dangerous, but even if he wanted to retreat, seeing the reactions of his men, there was no way they would listen.
“25, 24, 23, 22…”
To make things worse, that man was even counting down! He was mocking him! In front of his men! The decision was made.
The burly leader lifted his saber to signal the attack-
“You had great potential as a comedian… but you chose tragedy. Dragonmight!” the cold voice pierced into the bandits ears and moments later he felt a terrifying pressure.
All around him he saw his men fall like flies. Peoples eyes rolled back as they lost consciousness and fell off their mounts. The beasts eyes rolled up, as they also lost consciousness. The heavy mounts fell, often squashing their rider or parts of them.
The leader was not much better off. Barely staying awake, a tremendous weight was crushing him to the ground. Fallen off his mount, he crawled on all fours and could not even lift his head to look at the people he had just threatened to kill.
“What do we do with them?” the chimera leader asked.
“Well, i did promise them death. But it seems like a pain to go around and kill all of them.”
Pip was looking at Seth speechlessly. He had not even used fire. He did not even sing or swing his sword. He just lifted his shield and the bandits that had turned her life to hell buckled.
~Met me do it! I want to try out the new magic I learned!~ a childish voice suddenly said.
~ This is a good chance for the imugi to level. Let it do it. ~
“Errm, fine. But what magic did you learn this time?” Seth asked confused.
Had it not just recently learned healing magic? It did not intend to heal these people, right? His concerns were unfounded. The little Imugi, looking like a chubby snake, appeared beside him.
“< Chain Lightning> !” it called out and a wave of lightning bolts emerged from its mouth that shot at the unconscious bodies and kept jumping back and forth between them. They twitched and frothed, but none of them ever woke up.
The only cries of fear and pain came from the bandit leader who had been holding on but now wished he wasnt away for this kind of execution.
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