The scrambling sound of feet shuffled throughout the corridor. One of the of the sources of the noise stopped and glanced at a remotely empty corner and silently approached it out of curiosity. It had heard a sound but wasn’t able to find anything at the location, confused or stood still before another Inzektor came by.
The two emitted a series of strange sound, it was cryptic to the point where no being in the Alliance had yet to fully understand despite their advancement in technology. After a brief moment that seemed like days, they departed from the region and resumed their patrol.
A figure emerged from the blank space that was examined before, Luon who was invisible couldn’t help but feel relieved that he as they had left. What had happened in the last few moments? He couldn’t help but recall the scenes of where he endlessly had fought against Inzektors.
At first, it was simple, or he thought it was simple. All he needed to do was cut his way to the Swarm Host’s core, the more enemies there were, the closer he was getting to it. However, such lofty thoughts were stopped by the fact that there were too many enemies.
Besides the normal Inzektors that looked like an evolved species of ants, there were some that could fly, worm through the walls and while Luon was fighting, humanoid Inzektors that were removing the corpses of their dead brethren and taking it elsewhere.
Luon kept slicing away at the enemy until he came to the realization that it couldn’t go on. The robots that he brought along with them had run out of ammunition and piled up some injuries when they started to fight in close quarters.
Which is why he ran, he stored the robots into his intraspatial bag before donning his ability to go invisible. He didn’t run to where he came from though, one reason being that the path was soon filled with Inzektors searching for him, another was because of the atmospheric levels was suitable for his health.
He shrouded his footsteps and carefully slithered through the swarm of Inzektors, that is until another Inzektor appeared. From the ceiling Luon eye’s met with another pair of eyes, pairs of eyes to be exact. There was an Inzektor that looked like a spider only it had 9 eyes. 8 in the front like usual and a huge one that covered its entire backside.
It hung from the ceiling with its legs slowly backing away from the scene before screeching and alarming at all the Inzektors around it. They all turned and face the direction of where Luon stood at, they hesitated for a moment before storming towards him.
‘I need to take it out! It looks like the other Inzektors listen to its orders. It must be an upper-class type,’ Luon thought to himself.
He focused his energy on his movement technique and undid his invisibility. The unaware Inzektors became more energetic as their doubts were gone, but this gave Luon the opportunity to strike.
Like a ghost, Luon dashed through the swarm and started to propel himself forward using the bodies of Inzektors as a stepping stone. He beelined towards the spider-like Inzektor causing it to panic and attempt to run away.
However, unlike Luon was small and agile it was interrupted by the Inzektors around itself. Luon quickly got to its location and dispatched it, blood spewed everywhere, and Luon indifferently returned to being invisible.
He shook away the bloody mess that the kill made before hiding once more. However, it was as if he was cursed by the spider Inzektor as they continued to chase him down despite being optically unseen.
Luon used water magic to wash away the blood before using wind magic to encase the scent towards himself before departing to the closest tunnel opening. He stood still and watched at the swarm of Inzektors went right by his location and felt relieved that he managed to lose them all.
“You got to get moving, you can’t stay in one spot for too long. Especially since they should have more of that spider like Inzektor,” Thanatos advised Luon. “Look, there’s one over there.”
It was several times smaller than the one Luon faced. In the midst, of the crowd, Luon saw a baby version of the spider Inzektor, and its eyes darted around looking for the intruder that had interrupted its tranquility.
Carefully moving, Luon managed to escape as he entered more and more tunnels, after finding a safe spot, he began to lay down and rest.
He consumed a lot of energy, he was able to fight for hours end as long as there was mana, but in this area of space, there wasn’t much mana or energy for him to absorb. The only thing that drove him on was the blood of his enemies and the adrenaline of the fight, but now that it was over he felt the exhaustion taking over him.
Opening up his BMPU he noticed that he was unable to make a connection, the flesh walls of the Swarm Host had blocked his signal. He sighed as he set up his alarm before blacking out.
“The timing was perfect,” Luon whispered to himself, not out of arrogance, but out of astonishment as he began to sweat bullets.
“Indeed it was spot on,” Thanatos replied. “Any moment longer and you would have been killed without even knowing who killed you.”
He woke up to the scene of an Inzektor carefully examining his location. Although he was invisible due to his equipment, he couldn’t help but feel unease with the existence like that spider Inzektor hanging around.
If he had let out a single scream, then he would be forced to fight the Inzektor before him, and if he were to do that, then the others would have noticed his presence.
‘It’s been an hour since I’ve entered this swarm host. The battle outside must have been finished by now. Since the atmospheric pressure remained the same, it must mean that core is still alive,’ Luon thought as he looked at the time on his BMPU.
Luon got up and started to recall his actions before stepping out once more, as started to make his move he noticed the patrols had dropped considerably as he assumed it was because of possibility that other teams have already entered the Swarm Host.
Sure enough, he heard a disturbance up ahead.
Dashing forward, and after exiting the tunnel, he found Belle and his other squadmates in combat with a massive amount of Inzektors.
“There’s just so many of them! If only those guys didn’t bring along the extra dead weight! At this rate, we will be finished! Belle let’s retreat!” Gizmo exclaimed.
“But the swarm host is just up ahead, and we don’t know where Luon is,” she replied. “If we don’t get any more achievements then all of this will be worthless!”
“They will already commend us for the space combat, there’s no need to press on even more,” Gizmo insisted as he soon realized that he was out of ammunition. “Watch your feet!”
Below Belle, and only a few meters away a worm-like Inzektor appeared from the ground and went straight towards her.
She was caught off-guard but right when it was a few centimeters away from her face a hand gripped the worm from the neck and crushed it. Luon appeared before his team and asked, “What’s the situation right now?”
“Hahaha, I knew you would still be alive and kicking,” Bendan rejoiced as he decimated another Inzektor.
“We’ll talk after we take care of all of these Inzektors. Let’s finish this in a minute,” Belle ordered.
Luon called out the two robots he had stored and entered the fray.
The Inzektors were quickly taken care of with their help, but before Luon could ask about anything, Gizmo bellowed, “We have no time to lose. If it weren’t for that Zythos and his gang, we would have already been at the core already.”
“You’re right, let’s get going now. We may still be able to catch up if we leave now,” Belle nodded. “I’ll explain what happened so far as we move.”
From what she told Luon, after nearly an hour once he managed to breach the swarm host, the combatants were able to deal with the swarm of Inzektors outside. In fact, many Fleets were able to enter a few Swarm Host and eliminate them already. It wasn’t too much of a surprise since the number of fleets on-site outnumbered their enemies nearly 3 times as much.
The only troublesome existence was the army of Inzektor flyers since the number slightly surpasses their own, but even that could quickly be dealt with.
“So 3 out of 8 Swarm Hosts have been dealt with already?” Luon questioned Belle who had told him all of this.
Belle nodded, her face distorted slightly as she started to rant, “We may have already been at the Swarm Host’s core if it wasn’t for Zythos. After we broke in, we met them halfway through by coincidence, and they brought along with them an army of Inzektors and forced us to deal with them. Why if I…”
As she continued to rant on about how mischievous and sly Zythos was, Luon couldn’t help but think, ‘To think that Zythos would run away from Inzektors like that… he is quite prideful, but then again I also did the same… but to think he would force them on the others like that. How unfortunate it was for them.’
As Belle continued to rant, Gizmo had joined in the discussion. However, the two were strictly lectured by Angela as she pointed out how foolish they were being. Bendan, on the other hand, was evaluating the surroundings alongside Opo.
“Miss, the core’s up ahead. Zythos has already engaged in combat with the Inzektor’s Core, and it’s not looking good,” Kiri appeared before them.
“That dog, leaving us like this while he needs us to show him how things are supposed to be done. Come on guys, let’s quickly get there,” Belle shouted.
Luon and the others nodded, they dashed forward and started to increase the pace as they started to hear the sounds of combat and feel the ground shake in the aftermath. They arrived at the scene of Zythos slaying a huge humanoid Inzektor that was embedded into the flesh walls.
His claws stabbed into the giant crystal that appeared utterly shattered and the tentacles that were rampaging about in the room cease functionality.
But that wasn’t the shocking factor before their eyes was a dreadful exhibition. Belle couldn’t help but feel queasy at the bizarre scene of blood and flesh scattered about in the room, and it wasn’t the Inzektors. Out of all the members of Zythos’ squad, half of them were dead, and the rest was battered to the point where one couldn’t help but think what kind of fight did they just experience.
Zythos returned to his team with a blank state as silently uttered, “Let’s go back.”
They started to leave right by Luon’s team, Zythos gave Luon a quick glance before stepping right by him.
Luon managed to hear him silently mutter, “Was the glory at the cost of your friends all worth it?”
Luon turned around only to see the back of exhausted man, as he let out a short sigh. He couldn’t reply to his remark as a few moments ago he heard Belle talk about how Zythos was going to destroy the core with his team alone and went on ahead, leaving Belle entrapped.
But because of his actions, Luon realized that they had just avoided a catastrophe, he couldn’t imagine what kind of feelings he would have if he came to the realization if his friends were all dead.
The depressing mood shattered as the BMPU started to emit some noise, with the Swarm Host dead, the gases that allowed them to breath began to dissipate. Carrying along the shocked Belle, their squad left towards their Fleet ship.
All of their dreams of hopes and honor was collapsed as they were left with a distasteful feeling.
None of them ate any meat for an entire week.