Chapter 102: Bring Me Hardships So I Can Rise (Part 1)

A chain of explosions resounded in the distance as the horizon lightened up then cot behind huge clouds of smoke and dust. Huge explosions and earth shattering shockwaves resonated from far away from where Shen and Ryu fought against the higher ranked beasts, making the ground shake even back at the Kingdom.

[ROOAR!]

A Frost breath was shot out and another folk of wyverns fell on the ground, completely shattered. Then another huge pillar of fire broke the stomach of an ogre that was as huge as a mountain. The beasts that stood behind while looking at them how they tried to resist the waves were now in chaos because of one ridiculously strong monster, a huge semi-dragon that was as big as the humongous trees. The dragon had black scales, huge horns, and claws, a strong looking tail with spikes on it, and the weirdest thing was the humongous clawed arms that looked like a second set of wings behind his back. Those arms would create high-rank magic that was able to destroy hundreds of lower enemies in one hit, erasing forests and downing mountains.

“W-what is that?!” → Gregor

After reaching the tips of the mountains, Gregor was stunned to see that far away, monstrous silhouettes of demonic beasts of all kinds, from huge Wyverns to old Phteromoses, from gigantic scarabs with strong horns/pliers to humongous double-headed ogres with dark skin and iron clubs as huge as them; all of these were in chaos because of one dragon-like figure, big enough to start a fistfight with the orcs and strong enough to shatter the invincible carapace of the scarabs in one hit.

“That form… is that Ryu?!” → Gregor

Is he going to be alright? The last time he transformed into that he almost died, and he’s using ridiculous Great Spells too!! How is that possible?! → Gregor

“…That is King Ryu and Lord Shen… I don’t know how, but it seems they combined their consciousness and transformed into something that can rival even gods… The more I learn about their ridiculous powers, the more I’m asking myself if is necessary to worry about the future.” → Bernard

Bernard sighed with mixed feelings while starring in the distance. Lately, he started to feel more and more proud of his powers and control over his techniques, feeling like the goal of fighting alongside Ryu and Shen in the future won’t seem that far off any longer. Now after witnessing their true powers, Bernard felt as if the distance hasn’t shortened at all, but only got bigger and bigger.

I should’ve known my place from the day Lord Shen freed me from inside those cages… The distance was ridiculous since the beginning. → Bernard

“R-Ryu and Shen?! That’s perfect! Like this, we won’t have to worry about the bigger monsters. Bernard, let’s focus on what we can do. Seeing how much Shen and Ryu grew in the last half the year made me wish to start training again. I need to think of some kind of area-damage skill I could use that won’t waste too much chi.” → Gregor

Gregor started to help Bernard and the others to build the fortress and while doing so, his mind was rushing and started to think of a way to grow stronger faster. He couldn’t let his now crippled body be his weakness.

“…”

Bernard looked at Gregor with big eyes. He never expected that after whitening his lords’ might, Gregor won’t lose heart, but have his spirit ignite even stronger, wishing to reach higher levels. This made him feel like mocking his own judgment. Being all pitiful and saddened only because someone was stronger than him, it wasn’t like him at all.

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That’s right. What was I thinking? If the distance is only getting bigger then that means I’m too slow. I need to think of a smarter way to train my spirit and body. I can’t remain behind and look at their backs forever! → Bernard

From the defensive lines that reached a little bit later on top of the mountains, everyone was stunned to see the disaster and the fight that still took place in front of them. Seeing them with questions in their eyes and even some fear, made Bernard, Gregor, and the other warriors feel like laughing. In the end, Gregor shouted out:

“What are you staying there for?! This is a battlefield! Now get to work and start fortifying the mountains! THIS is the one and only defensive line! If this one fails, you can say goodbye to your newfound homes and lives!” → Gregor
“Y-yes, sir!”

Everyone got to work and started to create more and more spikes around the mountains’ peak while they grew the peaks and made the walls stepper.

“ROOAAARRR!!”

The flying beasts started their attack by flying low to cut or stab with their claws and beaks or shot different elemental breaths toward the warriors.

“Barrier!” → Sofia

Sofia shouted out in a hurry to defend the warriors.

A long barrier appeared, engulfing the entire mountain peaks. The mages scattered on the peaks of the mountains and activated the barriers together. If they wished, they could’ve united their barriers with the ones around them, creating a barrier looking like a shining bubble chain.

“Attack! Shot them down!” → Lissa

This time Lissa was the one who commanded the offensive. They made sure to have at least one offensive mage besides the defensive one.

Different elemental spears, together with quick fireballs and some winds blades shot out and downed every flying demonic beast which tried to penetrate the barriers or strike at the warriors. Even so, there were some which swiftly dodged the projectiles and planned right toward an unshielded young Antara warrior. Seeing him outside the barrier and a flying Ptheromos going right at him with its beak wide open, Jack’s turned restless and shouted in a hurry.

“BOY! Retreat right now!” → Jack

The young man heard Jack’s voice and when he turned he observed the huge open beak and a long tongue, ready to swallow him whole.

“OAAH!”

In a panic, the young man swung his Epic ranked Wind Sword in front and a great wave of wind appeared which cleanly cut the B ranked Ptheromos in two, splashing blood all over the young man.

“…”

Rushing to help him, Jack suddenly stopped on his steps after seeing the Ptheromos fall down and separate in two parts like a broken doll. He stared at the young man’s white shiny Wind Sword, then at his own Fiery Great Sword which was also of Legendary Rank.

T-this will be fun. → Jack

His eyes ignited while a feeling of amusement took him over. The other people also started to stare at their own weapons, there being enough Epic and Legendary for even some players to be able to use. They then started to swing, punch or chant while using their own Heroic or higher ranked weapons, observing how the power-output was ridiculous while the beasts fell down one after the other without even trying too hard. The players especially started to look at the weapons they got from Antara with shiny eyes, starting to shout in amazement.

“These weapons are stronger?!”
“T-they are stronger! B-but how?!”
“It was when Lord Shen saved us! Remember? He said something about weapon releasing. Think he placed some kind of limitation on the weapons?”
“But why would he do that?”
“It was so you guys won’t get used to power!” → Bernard

Bernard roared with a stern voice after punching out a Phantom Fist with his Legendary wind Gauntlets, downing a young wivern of rank B.

“Once you taste power, you won’t feel like training anymore. And I suppose some of us already tasted that kind of foolishness, am I right?” → Bernard

Some players then felt embarrassed while avoiding eye-contact, continuing to strike down the flying beasts in a hurry.

“Right now this is for the best. Use the now strengthened weapons in your favor and kill every beast! Just this time, you have the freedom to go wild!” → Bernard

Bernard said such while punching another hole through a flying scarabee, killing it instantly. The others felt their hair raise as a fire ignited inside their own hearts.

“HOAAAHH!”

Everyone roared together, feeling almost drunk in the new power they got, killing the beasts with even more fervor, now feeling completely invincible.

Everyone’s morale it’s boosted. Good, now there is only one more problem…

Even though everything worked out just fine until now, Gregor and Bernard still had a huge worry on their minds.

Energy exhaustion.

Both thought at the same time with serious faces on.

Even though they learned how to use spells and skills which wasted the bare minimum of their resources of mana and chi by controlling the neutral mana around them, the many hours they will need to resist won’t show such mercy as to give them time to breathe. They will need to be in constant combat, or else, the tiniest mistake will lead to their ends. Gregor and Bernard thought of the best solution and in the end, they got to the same result.

Gabriel’s Array…

“Fiora! Activate the magic array! That’s our only chance to keep it up until we find another way!” → Bernard

Bernard shouted at Fiora who just downed a flying scarab with a fire lance.

“!? The array? We will need around 50 of our best mages for that! How will you resist when even one mage is crucial at this point?!” → Fiora

Fiora was shocked to hear Bernard talk about the array at this point.

“Besides, isn’t it only useful for enchanting one mage by sending all the other people’s mana toward him, without making that mage explode? For what would you need such a one-point magic array when we fight such a scattered wave?!” → Fiora
“That magic array has also the effect to circulate the mana evenly between the mages.” → Gregor

Gregor explained in a hurry.

“And the mages then will have the option to share the mana around to the other people outside the array, the mages also having the best mana absorption and recovery around together with Tara… Is this what you two wish to do?” → Lissa

Lissa asked surprised for having such a backup plan.

“That’s exactly it! Now get to it! We don’t have much time!” → Bernard

Bernard roared out then looked at the beasts that started to climb on the mountains slippery walls by using their claws.

“Warriors! Defend the mages! Try to resist as much as possible against the flying attacks without our defensive units!”

Bernard and Gregor made a gamble. The magic array needed time, around 30 minutes until it was completely activated. Having to resist for 30 minutes did not seem much but it was extremely difficult taking into account the huge army of flying monsters.

From the 200 mages that normally focused on defense and offense, 50 started to focus on the array while another 50 made sure to protect them even with their lives. This left only 100 mages to keep on the barriers and shut down the flying beasts. Their strongest mages, Sofia and Lissa were focusing on the Array so they could not help the Warriors this time around.
Such a thing left many holes in their defenses, leaving the flying beasts to penetrate in their numbers with ease.

-BOOM~!-

A little wyvern landed right on top of a mountain peak with groundbreaking power. It roared and shot out fire breath while trying to kill a warrior with a huge sword in his hands.

“ROAAAR-”

-CUT-

The warrior cleanly beheaded the wyvern in one strike, making for a shower of blood to befall upon him, painting him red.

“Don’t be afraid! We had even worse times!”

Warriors from the vicinity were still on the ground because of the shockwave created by the wyvern’s landing, staring at Jack, also the one who beheaded the wyvern, in awe.

“Get up! You have such incredible armor on! Use all you have to hold the lines! EVEN YOUR LIVES!” → Jack

He shouted out with blood-shot eyes. He felt like this might be his last day but he wouldn’t cower but only fight fiercer.

“HOAH~!”

The warriors and even the players, felt their blood boil and roared out with an incredible spirit.

“ROAR!!”

More flying beasts landed and started to attack left and right. They tried to kill everyone but to their surprise, not even one man fell from their strikes, the warriors were like unmoving stones.

“ROAAH!”

A warrior that just blocked the charge of a huge scarab, roared and used his Heroic ranked ax to cut it in two.

Seeing their own failures, the beasts started to learn and Flying Chimeras started to throw boulders from the sky, making it rain with rocks over the warriors.

“AAH!”

-BOOM!-

One warrior got smashed by such a bolder, his head completely obliterated and taking his life away. That was the first death in their lines. Because the barriers were focused on anti-magic to preserve mana, the physical strikes penetrated through without any resistance.

-BOOM!-BOOM!-BOOM!

More flying monsters started to throw boulders and even some beasts from the ground appeared to throw them with all they got upwards toward the mountains’ peak.

“ROAR!”

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Bernard roared out and smashed a boulder asunder that almost fell on a downed mage with his fists.

“Mages! Continue to focus on the flying beasts! Warriors! Don’t tell me you forgot that we can throw things as well?!” → Bernard

Bernard then focused his earth element and from the ground, a stone spear materialized. He grabbed it and with all his might he threw it like a javelin.

“ROAAH-!”

Two chimeras got pierced through the stomach in one strike, making them fall toward the ground over the incoming beasts.

“HOAAAH!!”

Everyone then started to use their own elements and create spears then imitated Bernard, starting to compete who downed the most flying monsters. The swordmasters and warriors used sword waves to down the near flying beasts while the destroyers would simply throwing boulders right back at the beasts from the ground.

“HAAH!”

Aura created another huge energy ball that she sent it toward the beasts which tried to climb the mountain.

-BOOM!!-

The energy ball exploded and froze everything in an area of 50m, blocking the beasts from below with the frozen bodies of their companions.

“Yah!”

She shouted in excitement at her victory, something that made the other warriors stare at her dumbfoundedly for a moment.

“… She’s a monster.”

The other Energy Fighters had frozen expressions while staring at her cute smile as she was jumping in excitement. Aura was the most talented Energy Fighter from the entire kingdom, even more so than the players when it came to upgrading her own class’ spells. By compacting the mana from the [Energy Beam] into one point until it grew bigger and then imbuing it with frost element, her new [Energy  Ball] was now at the same power level with a Great Spell from the mages.

More and more ranging abilities from the warriors struck the ground swarmed by the beasts while the mages focused on killing the flying monsters with their Low to Medium spells, the Great spells keeping for monsters with ranks of B and above.

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