My body slammed against the floor like a rag doll, causing a powerful wave of pain to wash over me in an instant. So strong was the pain, that it almost caused to me to have an out-of-body experience. My screaming nerves immediately seized control of my limbs, causing me to lie there, unable to move to at all while my consciousness faded slowly. My eyes were glazed over and my head felt hazy…I didn’t even know if my slash had even struck the golem or whether it had even caused it damage…
As I laid there spasming slightly in pain, my breathing became ragged and difficult as if there was something squishing me to the floor.
From my prone position, I could vaguely make out the silhouette of that golem rushing at me.
“Master!” No.3 yelled as he swiftly scooped up Big 4’s fallen sword and sped towards the approaching behemoth, sword drawn and ready. However, his frenzied attacks did nothing to halt the golem’s progress as it stomped towards me steadily while brushing off No.3’s swings with its left arm. As for the areas it wasn’t able to shield, it didn’t care that much either. It had already come to the conclusion that No.3 wasn’t able to cause it much harm thus it ignored him mostly and was instead dead set on wiping me out.
“Sasani!” Sinmosa howled for her husband. Having jumped off the golem not too long ago, he howled back to her. The two of them immediately burst into flames and charged at the golem, each taking one flank.
The Raging Flame Charge was both a physical and elemental attack and while the golem was mostly immune to fire attacks, physical attacks definitely affected it. Still, the combined charge of the two Cerberuses wasn’t able to cause it much damage at all, but it was at least able to delay its march of death slightly.
With two blazing Cerberuses speeding towards it from the flanks, the golem finally had to defend itself. Unfortunately for it, and fortunately for us, it only had one arm so while it was able to block Sasani’s charge from the left, it wasn’t able to defend against Sinmosa’s charge.
As for Sasani, just because his charge was blocked didn’t mean that his attack was ineffective either. All three of his jaws opened up wide the instant he rammed into the golem and bit down like a vice on its left arm. The golem raised its arm in response to his bites and started shaking it about, but Sasani stubbornly held onto its sole arm and dangled there like a fish stuck on a fish hook. Realizing that its efforts were futile, the golem lifted its leg to kick the offending Hellhound but that was quickly stopped by a timely charge from Sinmosa, whose attack from its undefended flank nearly caused it to topple over.
Taking advantage of this temporary instability, Sasani released his bite and upon landing on the ground, swiftly scampered up the golem’s back and resumed biting, this time at the golem’s neck. Previously, he had bitten this particular spot before and this showed in the bite marks left on the back of its beck. This proved to Sasani that his attacks were indeed effective and that as long as enough physical force was applied, he could eventually bite through the golem, given time of course.
“Master…you dare to harm the Master?! I’ll kill you!”
After a period of recovery, Big 4 was finally able to stand up. However, because of the severity of that swat just now, he still wasn’t strong enough to access all of his powers and thus wasn’t able to turn himself into an elemental state. As he stood there looking at my prone form, his first instinct was to reach for Shadowfang, which laid stuck in the ground not too far away from, him in order to avenge me.
Unfortunately, as an Epic-grade weapon, it wouldn’t allow just anyone to touch it. In fact, this was the first time that someone other than me or Habona tried to touch it; let’s just say that the result was rather shocking.
Even before his hand touched its hilt, Shadowfang actually backed away from him as if someone was controlling it.
Initially, Big 4 thought that it was merely his eyes playing tricks on him so he decided to give it another shot. This time, his second attempt was met with a much more violent response. With an unexpected 360 degrees flourish, Shadowfang sliced off Big 4’s hand…
Thankfully, such a wound wasn’t enough to cause any lasting problem for Big 4 who picked up his fallen hand and immediately retreated away from the deadly blade. Upon putting a safe distance between him and the blade, he reattached the severed part and turned it into flames to connect the two portions together. A few seconds later, his arm was completely restored.
Still, that brief brush with danger was more than enough to teach him not to touch Shadowfang…
Up till to that point, I truly did not know that Epic-grade weapons had the ability to recognize its owner…
Unable to utilize Shadowfang, Big 4 joined the other three in circling the golem and attacking it. Thanks to their superior agility, all four of them managed to avoid taking too much damage but so did the golem, whose defenses were simply too strong even with their combined might. Once their stamina ran out, this fight would basically be over.
“Sinmosa, take the Master and leave first, we’ll hold him here.” Soon after Big 4’s arrival, No.3 realized the severity of their situation and tried to call for a retreat.
As of right now, I was still laying on the ground in an extremely embarrassing pose but at the very least my condition had improved and the numbness had subsided somewhat.
Sinmosa understood what No.3 was trying to convey in an instant. She answered his cry immediately and sped off towards me without any hesitation.
WIth her gone, No.3, Big 4 and Sasani redoubled their efforts in order to cover for her. Unfortunately, their attacks were still as weak as before, being more akin to mosquito bites than anything else. While the golem might seem like a Six-stars on the surface, its defenses had to be at the peak of Six-stars. Moreover, the golem was practically immune to fire attacks so we could only rely on physical attacks.
Unable to employ their main elemental attacks, was it any wonder that our members found themselves so hampered?
If I had to make a comparison, which I definitely did, the three of them were like player characters who dabbled in magic and martial arts. When faced with an enemy who was immune to either skill category and highly resistant to the other, their damage output would drastically decrease, putting them at a severe disadvantage.
That was basically the situation facing No.3, Big 4 and Sasani right now; the golem was the enemy in that example who possessed an overwhelming defense level.
(TL: The author’s example was slightly altered (mostly shortened) to make more sense. If you think I should remove it entirely, leave a comment below.)
Switching back to Sinmosa, she had just arrived by my side when she immediately bit down on my armor and with a flick of her neck, tossed me onto her back.
The golem, who seemed to have discovered Sinmosa’s intention, promptly chased after her with an amazing burst of speed. From the way it came rushing towards us, I could have sworn that there was some furious gust of wind pushing it forward from the back. In a mere moment, it managed to bypass No.3, Big 4 and Sasani’s blockade and rush straight at us.
“Hold tight!” Sinmosa yelled as her body did an emergency turn to try evade the golem. With how fast it charged at us, she barely managed to avoid the blow as it grazed her fur.
While I might have recovered somewhat in the interim, it wasn’t enough for me to cope with such a sudden jerk. My forceless grip was promptly ripped away and my body tossed aside soon after by the residual force of Sinmosa’s turn…
*bang bang bang*
A cascading wave of booms echoed in my head, bypassing my ears entirely, coming instead from the direct impact reverberating inside my skull as I rolled about on the ground. Pain…an indescribable level of it, accompanied by that same numbing sensation that plagued me not too long ago…
That was the second time I was thrown off Sinmosa’s back. Thanks to my bad luck, I was sent crashing into a nearby rock that almost caused me to kick the bucket then. I inhaled sharply from the sudden shock and my eyes seemed to go black as if I was about to faint…
“Master!” I faintly heard the two of them whispering from a good distance away. ‘Whispering? They must’ve been really been yelling loudly then for me to hear them from this distance away…where am I even?’ As I gazed around me, my eyes swimmed unsteadily, causing my vision to blur into a surreal picture, or illusion of sorts…that was probably how others must have felt when they were on the verge of fainting.
The ground shook once more and I felt the earth beneath me tremble slightly. Something was causing the ground to react so violently –it was that golem rushing right towards me. No.3 and Big 4 tried to delay the golem’s progress but they were swiftly slapped away by its last remaining arm as if they were merely flies.
Finally, there was nothing standing between it and me.
With my fate sealed, my eyes inexplicably drifted over towards the direction of Mo Na who was flapping her tiny wings furiously to try and reach me, eyes watering all the while and tears scattering about like tiny jewels.
‘Sweetie…it looks like Papa won’t make it after all…’
Ferti’nier was still out of commission so there was no use hoping for her aid. But without her, I truly had no trump cards left to play. ‘Even if I wanted to fight back now…I don’t think it’s even possible…looks like I was a little overconfident in my abilities after all…like a Three-stars could ever stand against a Five-stars just because of some Epic-grade weapon and some blasted Main Character Halo…if only I hadn’t rushed at it with Shadowfang…but there are no ifs in this world…only cold hard facts…’
Suddenly, a huge shadow seemed to zip across my field of vision. ‘A hallucination? To think my pain would actually cause me to hallucinate about a giant monster passing through my body…no wait, it did in fact leap over me! That field of red passing over me and blotting out the sky in the process must have been its belly.’ Because of my poor angle, I wasn’t able to get a good look at the monster before it leaped over me and rammed into the golem.
The two collided in what looked more like a scene from Ultr*man versus some kind of monster…
Taking advantage of this momentary distraction. Sinmosa hurriedly bit down on my armor once more and dragged me out of the battlefield. It was then that No.3, Big 4 and Sasani came rushing back as well. Also, Mo Na, who was worried sick by now, came flying over with Cinderel in tow.
“Mama…” Just as I was placed on the floor, I had the wind knocked out of me by Mo Na who leaped onto me and stubbornly clung onto my neck while weeping. “Mama…*weep*…Mo Na was so scared…”