Chapter 422: Muddled Abomination
“Shit, I didnt think one would still be left this close to the city!” Ahmed cursed and the party hurried to get into formation, to stop the giant beasts rush.
Seth glared at the knight. So he was right that their guide had kept a secret from them. Unfortunately, there was no time to sort out the knights secretiveness.
With practiced routine, the hero charge in the front to meet the first attack and set up their line of battle. No matter how little he liked ben Harker, Seth had to admit, that he possessed a terrifying strength.
The man who kept five dungeon bosses and an army of elite monsters at bay didnt have to exert himself to face the common abominations or monsters.
Marcel, Brock, Cade, and Ellie followed him as melee vanguards. The standard tactic was to juggle the beasts attention between them, to minimize the burden. Trusting their established vanguard, everyone else started to chant spells or cast buffs.
Seth had just lifted his demonic lyre to sing a strengthening song when the unthinkable happened.
The hero met the terrifying beasts charge and- was pushed back! The epic sword met the haphazardly swung club in the air and the hero was slung into the air. Surprised, the other four were easily pushed away and the vomit-inducing monster freely charged at the rearguard.
Things changed in an instant, as everyone suddenly turned serious. Leisure casts were instantly completed and suddenly the abomination was met by a wall of magic bombardment, halting it in its tracks.
A thick cloud of mist covered its body, blinding the myriad eyes present on the body. Icicles jutted out from the mist, having pierced the beast and turning it into a porcupine. Its overall movements had suddenly slowed, looking like it was caught in slow motion.
Only Seth didnt make some super powerful instant move. The blacksmith simply did not have one in his role as a bard. It was the drawback of a song, it had to be sung correctly and couldnt be shortened.
Status Effects: Enraged, Stagnation, Freezing, Blind>
Checking the beast with observation, despite the number of status effects, it could be seen that it had taken almost no damage from this attack.
The vanguard had recovered from the shock and started showering the field boss with attacks. However, even when the disheveled hero finally returned to the battle, they had a hard time cutting away at the beasts ginormous health and armor.
On the other hand, it was obvious that they were still holding back, as no one in the party sustained any injuries either. With their mediocre teamwork, it would take ages to defeat the boss, it was then, that Seth saw a chance.
The audience was appalled by the appearance of the monster that had suddenly appeared. They already knew similar beasts from other teams, but this one was on another level of ugly. They would appear in regions with a high population of life and were the result of cursed creatures fusing under the blood sun. Their power would grow exponentially with the number of individuals absorbed.
To everyones disappointment, what started in a spectacular fashion had quickly turned into a war of attrition. They wanted what every audience craved: a flashy, exciting fight that got their blood pumping.
Many were about to switch to another team, or a show on other channels when foreign music filled the battlefield. The bard, that had been playing ordinary songs, despite the intriguing instrument in his hand, suddenly changed gears. Completely.
A full and complex set of sounds, one would not expect from the instrument, originated from the lyre. Accompanying the complex music was a deep demonic voice. Seductively, it found its way into the ears of the listening.
Few knew the language, but all understand the meaning. The collision of worlds and the struggle for control. The eyes were bound to the screens as they witnessed the battle changing. The attacks became quicker, the timing became better.
Suddenly the team members worked in tandem. Like a clockwork, they started moving in an almost choreographed fashion. Magic created openings to be exploited. Attacks were stacked and status effects timed.
As everyone was enveloped in the dark music, their blood pumping and their head filled with baseless zeal for action, the audience wanted to jump off their seats, but the team moved as if controlled by a sinister puppeteer.
Their faces expressionless, their moves tied to the timing of the tune, the speed of the battle increased. Blood spurted; wounds accumulated. Finally, the giant field boss was cut down by a team play of frightening precision.
All of it without marginally increasing the members power or revealing their secrets.
Only after the minced colossus finally collapsed and the music ended, signs of emotion returned to the members of the urthan team.
It was similar for the audience, who had only heard a recording. It was as if they had left a trance when the music finally stopped. Their hearts palpitated from the surge of excitement they had just experienced.
The topic quickly attracted a lot of attention and many people turned to look up the bard who had suddenly shown a glimpse of his scary musical prowess.
To Shauns great respite, the Chrona 5 channel and its services experienced a surge of popularity. The matter of a team suddenly vanishing mysteriously faded out of the publics attention.
—— Keväti Kuinen ——
Seth was a little out of breath and his throat was sore. His mana was also mostly depleted. Otherwise, he was quite happy with the outcome of the song. As one of the few songs that only needed mana as a cost to channel the power of a demon, its effects were great.
“W-What happened…?” the team members stammered, still confused by the sudden end of the battle.
Only the mist demon was looking at Seth with sparkling eyes. “He was a demonic bard!” was written all over Mistos face.
“Th-that was your music, right?” the hero asked.
“No need to thank me. I know how important time is to you.” Seth said happily, completely ignoring the big “but” that was written on the heros face. Other faces had mostly “confusion” and “relief” written on them.
The hero let the matter rest, as did everyone else. Because, unlike how it looked from the outside, Seth had not suddenly taken control of them and turned them into a group of puppets dancing to his tunes.
It was clear to them from the very beginning, that they could have chosen to resist and nothing would have happened if they had done so. They had been more or less conscious the whole time and could have stopped.
Still, the weird experience left them stumped and they needed some time to cope with what happened.
“If nobody minds, I will help myself to the corpse,” Seth said matter-of-factly and went ahead to bag the minced body like he had done with the others before. The blacksmith had an easy time coming to an agreement with the others since nobody had any interest in the bodies of the abominations.
~Its a shame I couldnt get a taste of that one when it was alive! ~ Puffles lamented.
After gaining control of the recorder, Seth had made sure to feed Puffles with the disgusting corpses he collected throughout their journey. According to the nightmare centipede, they were very “delish” and of high nutritional value to him.
Seth could not help but shiver, every time the Ivicer brought up the topic. He exclaimed in surprise when he saw what was floating above the field bosss body. It had given surprisingly little experience for a boss of its level and difficulty. Was this the reason?
Above the body floated a mass of disjointed souls. On one hand, they looked disconnected, but their all belonged to the same soul under appraisal. It was very weird and slightly disturbing. This indicated that the suns curse could even affect the soul of the victim.
A mass of haphazardly fused and cross-contaminated souls. Unstable connections and chaotic memory contaminations make it prone to collapse on its own. A low-quality material that requires a lot of time and expertise in refinement to be worked with. >
Despite being massive, it was no good material. The less than badly fused souls originally varied in affinities and quality, but simply became a muddled mess in this way. Instead of wasting a lot of time on it, the blacksmith had a better idea. He simply fed it to Charons Obol.
“You knew about this?!” the hero, who had gotten over his qualms, braked at Ahmed. It was time to deal with the knight.
“Why didnt you tell us?”
“Was this the reason you kept us away from settlements?” Seth interjected.
From its appearance alone, it was not hard to guess how such a creature would be born. Villages that had a sizable population would have had a high chance to spawn a beast like this during the start of this apocalypse.
“I-I thought you might flee once you face one of the Amalgamations.”
“Its what we call these abominations. They are created from the fusion of several different monsters and humans under the blood sun. They are extremely strong compared to the level displayed.”
“Ahmed! I thought you trusted me. How could you doubt me like that?” the hero was hurt by this blatant lack of trust.
“…Im sorry.” was all Ahmed could say. He didnt dare to come up with some flimsy excuse and simply apologized
“Are you two done? Can we leave now?” Seth asked after bagging the corpse.
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