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Chapter 505: A Rock and a Hard Place

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Author: The Sole Survivor Original Source: SFACG
Translator: CatatoPatch English Source: Re:Library

The eight Eight-star Assassins simultaneously turned to look at each other, confirmed that they were all on the same page, then split off without ever saying a word to each other. Each of their arms danced about, as if they were weaving something in the air.

In less than three seconds, a multitude of translucent magical webbing spun out of their fingertips. Not only that, the webbing they spun somehow formed into a gigantic spider web!

They’re using the same tactic they used on Umbra to capture that Dracolich? Now. I don’t want to be mean or anything by crushing our own morale, but the two targets are quite different in scale. They might as well be spiders trying to take down the tree they hang on.

As I had expected, the Dracolich easily ignored the magical web. It rammed into the webbing, head first, then continued onwards without a care, still bearing that webbing and its eight casters as it sprinted forward.

Dragged along like ragdolls, the Assassins had no choice but to cut off the webbing in order to avoid more harm. Thankfully, they were all Eight-stars, so their bodies were strong enough to withstand the initial impact and drag. Even when the Dracolich started dragging them along, they were able to make use of their first-class abilities to perform an emergency tumble before cutting off the webbing, and recover quickly to their feet. Unharmed for the most part, they sprinted after the Dracolich right away.

“Cover Her Holiness’s retreat!” One of the Eight-star Assassins yelled to her comrades riding with her, then increased her speed, ran up to the flank of the charging Dracolich, and jumped onto it without any hesitation. The rest of the seven Eight-stars quickly followed in suit as well, successfully landing on the Dracolich’s back.

They immediately unsheathed their daggers and plunged them into the Dracolich’s scaly back, easily penetrating its draconic scales. However, the Dracolich was a zombified monster, so such attacks did not inflict any pain on it. Even the strongest attacks they employed did not cause the Dracolich to flinch in the slightest. And that was all thanks to its abnormal regeneration rate. Furthermore, the Assassins had to set aside some of their mana in order to block off the harmful effects of the Veil of the Dead.

For those Assassins who were right in the epicenter of the Veil, moving about was like swimming in the ocean. They had to ensure they did not breathe in the harmful particles in the Veil, all the while being obstructed in their movements as well. Fighting in the Veil had, in effect, lowered their Star Level by half a star!

The fact that they were Assassins, and did not have many techniques to deal with large creatures, did not help them in the slightest right now.

The natural order in this world dictated that the larger the magical beast, the stronger it had to be. A mammoth like the Dracolich might have been an Eight-star, but its massive physique probably meant its physical strength was at the level of a Nine-star!

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for us, this half-Undead monster lacked a Territory, else it wouldn’t have just been an Eight-star.

In a lot of ways, this Dracolich was like boss monsters in RPGs; their levels might be the same as yours, but their basic stats were leaps and bounds above yours.

The eight of them weren’t able to slow the Dracolich in the slightest. It wasn’t a problem of numbers at this point, it was just that large.

The Veil of the Dead was also helping to repair any injuries that appeared on the Dracolich, further worsening the gap between the weakened Assassins and the Dracolich.

We were done for, at this rate. The Dracolich was faster than us, and we still had that annoying Undead horde to contend with as well. Even though the horde itself was lower-starred and probably couldn’t hurt us, they were a hindrance to our escape. By my estimates, that Dracolich should reach us in less than a minute… that’s when we were really done for…

“All the Eight-stars, stay behind with me! We will face that monster and buy some time for Her Holiness!” Zurnalin yelled as she suddenly stopped in her tracks. Then without waiting for me to even respond, she charged at the Dracolich.

“Zurnalin! Stop! I forbid you from going! Get back here immediately!”

I called out to her in hopes of calming her down. However, she had already resolved herself, even if it meant disobeying my orders.

“Divine Blade!” Zurnalin slashed the air with her long sword, sending a massive crescent of sword energy flying at the Dracolich. That was probably the ability Zurnalin awakened when she became an Eight-star. This nearly ten meter wide wave was truly a sight to behold. Yet before it could even hit the Dracolich, the Veil of the Dead had already reduced its damage. With every inch the energy wave took, the Veil only got thicker and thicker. By the time it struck the Dracolich, it was merely a fraction of its original length.

The wave exploded upon impact with its right shoulder, blasting the scales apart and sending a spurt of black blood scattering about. The wound was a grisly mess, but it wasn’t as deep as we had hoped…

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“Still too weak… then I’ll just have to get closer.” Zurnaline muttered to herself as she sped up her charge. “Even if it means that I have to give up my life for Her Holiness, you shall not take a step further, monster!”

By this time, the rest of the dozen or so Eight-stars had caught up with Zurnalin. In the blink of an eye, they launched a combined attack against the Dracolich. With magic out of the question, they only had their melee weapons to rely on. Yet to the mammoth that was the Dracolich, they were merely slightly stronger ants.

Zurnalin was the first to make contact with the Dracolich, but she had overestimated her own strength. She was immediately sent flying away by the collision. Its size wasn’t something you could take on with brute force alone.

Fortunately, her collision wasn’t for naught; she now knew what she had to do in order to make up for their size difference. She began channelling vast quantities of Fighter’s Aura, blasting off wave after wave of sword energy at the Dracolich, not to kill it, but to delay it somewhat.

I swear… everyone of them… disobeying my orders like that… so what if I make it out of this? That means nothing if I have to sacrifice everyone in order to do so.

I wanted to rescue Zurnalin right this instant, but the two Seven-star Assassins she left behind stopped me from moving at all.

“Your Holiness, please do not waste her lady’s sacrifice.”

“Let go of me!” I tried to break free from their grip, but I was nothing but a Five-star weakling to them.

“Your Holiness, our deaths do not matter as long as your esteemed personage is unharmed. Please flee from this area immediately.”

“I said, let go of me!” As I yelled, the silhouette of a spider appeared in both my eyes. This was one of the abilities given to me by my godmother. As long as a creature faithful to her looked into my eyes, they would not be able to resist my commands. While I might not have used this often, but the situation being what it was, this was the only way I could break free.

“Since I’m the one who brought you all out with me, then I have the responsibility to make sure every single of you makes it back alive as well.” Thanks to my previous command, the Assassins had already loosened their grip on me. I turned around and said to Jezsere and Ann, who were beside themselves with worry at this point, “I want the two of you to follow the rest of them and leave this place as soon as possible… I’m afraid I might not be able to look after you two from this point on…”

“Master…” Jezsere seemed to have understood that I was up to something. She glanced at me worriedly, hands shaking with fear as she hugged our new addition, Ann. She reached out as if to grab me, “Master… be careful…”

She wanted to dissuade me from my rash actions, but the moment the words reached her lips, they transformed into a silent resignation instead.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.” I then turned to address Reyage and Regine. “I need the two of you to look after Jezsere and Jill, try to distance yourselves from this area too.”

“Understood.” Reyage nodded.

While Regine was just as worried as Jezsere was, she did not have much to say to me. She merely nodded and said, “I’ll keep them safe.”

“Geez, I can take good care of myself, I’ll have you know.” Jill pridefully stuck her hands to her hips. “You’re the one who should be careful instead.”

“I don’t plan on dying so easily. And even if I do, I’ll just pull myself back up from Hell again.”

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With them out of the way, it was time for Neneth and Nicole. “The two of you should go with the rest of the team as well. I’ll stay behind to cover our retreat… No. I will stay behind to clean up the mess!”

“Ehh? Sister Mo Na wants to stay behind and handle those monsters by herself?” Neneth’s first reaction was to point at the Dracolich and the Undead in shock. “But look how scary that big fellow is…”

Nicole, on the other hand, merely looked at me in silence.

“Don’t worry, I have a trump card to play.”

“Yeah… but that’s not enough, is it? Look at how big that thing is… it’s definitely much stronger than Neneth…”

Hearing her say that in an honest attempt of dissuading me, I couldn’t help but wonder to myself, so her way of determining whether a person was strong or not was based on how they compared to her brute strength?

I couldn’t help but chuckle and ruffle her head gently. She closed her eyes a little, as if enjoying the head pat, bringing a warm smile to my lips in the process. “Don’t worry, I’m not that easy to kill… and no matter what happens, I will protect the both of you!”

Having taken care of those loose ends, I marched towards the battlefield where Zurnalin and that Dracolich fought, left hand gripping onto the Gem of Authority.

The Veil of the Dead was a spell that only affected living creatures. Since the Devil King Idol was considered an inanimate object, it was completely immune to the debilitating effects of the Veil of the Dead. Furthermore, it itself was a weapon of war that boasted the power of a Demigod. Even though the weakling that I was could only bring out up to an Eight-star’s worth of power, its defenses were still a bonafide Demigod’s level. There was no way that Dracolich would ever be able to damage its exoskeleton. In short, I was perfectly safe as long as I stayed in its dimensional pocket.

If there was something that concerned me right now, it would be that I lacked any killing spells while in the Devil King Idol. Unless I could deal it a decisive blow, this fight with the Dracolich might end up being a drawn out one. In that case, mana supply was an issue as well…

“You don’t have to worry on that front, little brother. Your big sis over here can teach you a few tricks. But you need to understand that exposing yourself now before that little beauty over there isn’t a good idea. If she were to recognise the Devil King Idol for what it is, the consequences would be…dire.”

Whenever I was faced with a life-or-death decision, Ferti’nier was sure to make herself known. This time was no exception either.

I just knew you would pop up. But there’s no time to worry about exposing myself now. There’s no way I can stand by and watch them all die. Zurnalin might be a pain in the rear to deal with, but I’m a man with feelings as well. Being cared for by someone is something I appreciate greatly… no matter what happens, I will never abandon them and run away on my own. Besides, it’s not like she can hold that Dracolich off for long even if I did nothing.

As I said, Zurnalin was on the losing end right now in the fight with that Dracolich. Should all the Dark Elves fall, it wouldn’t take too long to catch up with me, based on its speed. At that point, I would have to pull out my Devil King Idol anyway.

If the outcome was going to be me pulling out my Devil King Idol, there was no reason not to do it now, was there?

“All right, since your mind is set.” Ferti’nier didn’t try to dissuade me any further. She knew that there was no changing my mind now. “In that case, your big sis just has to teach you more skills. Let’s hope our little brother’s soul can hold out… Actually, that shouldn’t even be a problem now. You should be grateful that your big sis took the trouble to craft that lovely bracelet for you…”

Lion’s Majesty? You mean it has a spell that can be used with the Devil King Idol?

There was no way she would lie to me about such things now, therefore I was even more at ease than before. I gripped down on the Gem of Authority once more, and steeled my gaze in the direction of the gruelling battlefield ahead… Just hold on for a while longer. I’ll be there soon…

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From this point on, it’s my battlefield! Devil King Idol, activate!

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