Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 494: Harvest Festival

Chapter 493: Stymphalian Birds?

“Their armor is really thick,” Seth commented while he watched the golems fight a swamp crocodile.

The quest spoke of the bird plague, but they were far from being the only creatures that lived in this dungeon. One of them was these swamp crocodiles. They were tough as a nail, comparable to the statues in the lovers cave.

But they were good prey since they were normally alone and ranged around lv. 70. They were not hard to fight for the group of golems and gave Seth a good chunk of experience per kill. These were also the first mobs on this journey Seth found worthwhile to collect.

When he brought them back, he could hand them over to the hunters in Minas Mar. Their tough hide would make a great material for leather armor.

Seth didnt enjoy his time, despite the good source of experience. Mostly because of the sights these marshlands offered him. None of the beasts here were pretty, but the worst creatures he encountered in the swamp were probably the bloodflies and the giant leeches.

The latter made the blacksmith summon one of the monkey golem knights and sit on its shoulders. Although the big golem started sinking into the soft ground under its own weight, it gave Seth ample distance from the waters surface.

Giant leeches were literally giant, they were so long that they could raise their fat, black and slimy bodies up above the water. If they did so, it brought their stinky circular mouth full of razor teeth at eye level with him.

Even the rotten breath and decomposing face of an undead were a prettier sight than that. The worst part was that they had powerful stealth skills. They could simply sneak up on their prey, unseen below the shallow water surface. Seth had been jump-scared several times before he got on a golem.

He would have used an even bigger golem to get further away from the water, but he had none. Most of the big golem stayed buried under the broken cliff. Since the blacksmith lacked a handy way to remotely collect his golems he had to leave them. His connection with them was cut off after he returned to Chrona.

Sitting on the eight-meter tall golem, the only annoying creature that could get to him were the Bloodflies. These giant, loud, and numerous insects with something like a scorpion stinger to extract blood, flew all around the swamp and were extremely quick.

The only positive about them was that they could not sneak up on him. He was able to snipe the lv.65 insects with his bow and magic before they got too close. Overall, the dungeon had an average level of 70 and didnt stand out from the other dungeon on the route.

It had been 30 minutes when Seth finally spotted the first bronze bird. It was a brown golden silhouette that dove down from the sky and pierced a bloodfly in the distance After killing its prey in a single blow, the bird stayed on a small patch of land to gobble up its food.

It had the figure of a crane but with a big and long golden beak that had easily killed the bloodfly. Its feather glinted in the light with a metallic glow.

Since it was out of range for magic, Seth brought out his Mind Reaper and took aim before using on the bird.

Alarmed by the skill it lifted its head from its meal, only to face the homing shot that was already coming to take its life. In the panic, the animal started flapping its wings but to no avail. The arrow found its target and lodged into the birds chest.

To Seths surprise, the bird managed to survive the attack. Badly wounded it tried to fly away, but the blacksmith had already sent another arrow on its way. It actually pierced the beasts eye, immediately ending its life.

He sent one of the golems to retrieve the birds corpse. The blacksmith had spent quite a bit of time researching Olympian Mythology because of his trait. More than enough to have an idea about what these birds could be.

They had a striking similarity to the birds described in the labors of Heracles. They were called the stymphalian birds because of the region they were plaguing at the time.

Holding the birds corpse in his hands he found that its feathers were very sharp and made of a metallic material. It was also thanks to this armor, that the bird managed to survive his first attack. The arrow was unable to pierce its heart the first time.

The beak was similarly metallic and reminded him of a stiletto, like the daggers Seth had made in Ora.

Still, it was not the first bird with metallic feathers he met in a dungeon.

“If these are really the same breed as the stymphalian birds from the Heracles myth, they would shoot their feathers and throw toxic shit,” he mumbled as he observed the corpse closer.

From the corpse alone, Seth could not ascertain whether that was true for these birds. The feather did not seem easily detachable, as for the toxic shit… He didnt really want to check on that.

He would have to fight them and this was where he saw a problem. The birds reaction was to flee from him, not to fight. It would be a pain if he had to hunt them all down like this. And it would probably take days.

~ How did Heracles do it, Mom?~ Tatzel asked curiously.

“Well, HE found their colony and got help from a goddess who gave him a pair of instruments that scared the bird to fly into the air. The hero could then simply shoot some of them down, while the rest ran away, never coming back,” he explained to the snakelet.

It was here, that Seth realized that he had not thought of the possibility of a nesting ground. He had approached the problem thinking of killing them one by one. Still, this method didnt work for Seth. He needed to kill a specific number to get out of the dungeon, not scare them away..

~ The great me could weave a net to catch the bird, then they couldnt run away. ~ Puffles suggested.

True, if Seth managed to find their breeding grounds and they threw a giant net over them, then they would be unable to run away.

~Why would you need a net, when you also have a magic instrument? Sing the birds a lullaby and leave it to the golems to finish them off. ~ Oz interfered with Puffles glorious suggestion.

Seth couldnt help but agree. If he could use music to make the birds unable to flee or defend themselves, it would be even better than catching them in a net.

Through his connection with Puffles, he could feel that the Ivicer was a little sulky that his idea was disregarded. Not enough to voice it out loud but enough for Seth to notice.

“Okay, I think we have a good plan here. We will first have to find the nesting grounds if there are. I will try to use music to disable them, and if that doesnt work, Puffles will be ready to throw his net” Seth summed up their ideas.

He could feel that he had successfully calmed the nightmare centipede. All that was left, was to hope that these birds actually had such nesting grounds and to find them.

They didnt know how big the marshland was, which made it hard to look for it as a single team. Even if Puffles started flying around. It was a good thing, that Seth had learned a few things in Chrona and also brought back some stuff.

The blacksmith released a swarm of recorder golems to scout the swamp. In the meantime, he and the team of golems kept trudging through the swamp and collecting experience.

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