[Now it’s our chance!] → Ignatius
Ignatius ignored his injuries and activated another great spell in a hurry.
[Sigillum Umbra!] → Ignatius
Shinier chains shot out from the ground and entangled around Thanatos, some even stabbing through him. The chains then started to drag Thanatos as if under the ground, breaking the rocks under him and sinking him altogether.
[Aren’t we going to kill him?] → Ryu
Ryu asked confused after he saw how Thanatos was sealed inside the burning rocky magma.
[A legendary dragon cannot be killed so easily. If I wish to completely eliminate the Night, then I’ll have to carry it at the source of Light.] → Ryu
Ryu paled when he heard that. There was only one place known to him as the source of light, which was-
[Y-you don’t mean… that…?] → Ryu
He then pointed at the rising sun in the Far-East.
[You are correct.] → Ignatius
[Oh man…] → Ryu
Thanatos completely sunk in the ground and a huge pillar of darkness rose in the sky; more chains entangled around it and dragged the pillar under the ground. The place where Thanatos sunk, a seal with the face of a dragon appeared with a shining dark-purple color. The dragonic face was inside a circle with shining golden words surrounding it.
So that’s how a sacred seal looks like in this world? But why is it in Latin? Since when have the people from our world appeared into this one? → Shen
Shen thought on his own while looking with great interest at the seal.
[Great job… young ones…] → Ignatius
After grinning victoriously, Ignatius fell from the sky and crashed right in the pool of magma he created with his Ultimate Spell. Because Ignatius was a dragon of the purest element of fire, something like lava won’t harm him at all, feeling it only like a warm bath.
His groans of pain were heard all around as the mana vibrated only from his voice.
Ryu stood in the air with his body ragged. Even though Shen used full power on the defensive, the strong lightning still penetrated the barrier, hitting him in full and burning the scales over most of his body together with his wings. He was bleeding all over and was barely able to keep the transformation on without hurting himself even more.
Shen, think you can heal him? → Ryu
Ryu asked with a calm voice. He looked at Ignatius and was able to tell that he was at his last breath.
If I use the remaining mental power I have to call Prana upon him, I should be able… But you will feel the full burden of supporting this energy and I won’t have enough to heal you after. Do you still wish to do that? → Shen
Shen asked with his normal neutral voice but this time having more of a tired tone.
I’m alright. Even though it was his duty, without him we would’ve all died for good. So please do so. → Ryu
Ryu continued then got close and took out the dragon from the lava pool. He flew toward the highest peak on a mountain with Ignatius in his arms and placed him down with care. After that, the golden ring above his head shone again with a strong shine, and a thin pillar of golden, honey-like energy, fell from the sky and entered Ryu’s head.
Ryu tried to resist the burden of having to circulate this form of energy without consuming it, then he released it from his palm, atop Ignatius’ head. The energy was instantly absorbed by his ragged body and began healing with incredible speed, his injuries closing up visibly.
[Hrm…] → Ignatius
Ignatius’s painful face relaxed and finally fell asleep unconscious.
Oh~! Now we don’t need to worry about him dying, right? → Ryu
Ryu asked amazed while observing the injuries closing up, leaving behind not even a scar.
Too tired… need sleep… → Ryu
Shen then got out from inside Ryu and returned to his body from atop his bed, crashing unconscious while his entire defense, be it for the soul or for his mind, disappeared completely.
“Haha… yeah. I understand you well…”
Ryu transformed back, naked because of the complete transformation, but full in cuts, bruises, and burns, falling with his back leaning on Ignatius’ healthy arm.
I wish nobody will see me like this… But I’m too tired to get some clothes… maybe only this. → Ryu
From inside his inventory, he grabbed a long black coat and covered himself, right before falling asleep on Ignatius’ arm.
Sleeping and unable to remember the dream he had, he suddenly feels something cold and wet on his chest, disturbing him from his sleep and making him frown.
He opened his eyes and saw Bonny who was cleaning his naked chest with a wet towel, staring at her a little bit dazed.
Bonny had the same surprised face then she dropped the cloth in the washing basin, staring at him with wide-open eyes. In the end, Ryu broke the silence with a naughty grin on.
“You know~ if you really wish, we could clean up each other at any time now.” → Ryu
“You dummy! After coming back half-dead, this is the first thing you’re thinking of?!” → Bonny
Bonny’s face turned bright red as she reprimanded him, lightly slapping his head trying to seem irritated. Then she suddenly stopped and her shoulders started to tremble. Tears fell down her face as she tried her best not to jump in his arms.
“Ah, Ryu… You finally woke up…” → Bonny
“Eh? W-wait. Bonny? Why? W-what happened?” → Ryu
Then more and more memories resurfaced in Ryu’s mind and his face turned serious. With an urgent voice, he suddenly asked.
“The waves! Bonny! What happened with the monsters?! How is everyone?! What about Ignatius? Is he still alive- Argh!” → Ryu
As he was too agitated, Ryu’s wounds started to ache, stabbing him with pain and almost open up again.
“Ugh! I’m still injured? Did nobody tried to heal me?” → Ryu
He looked confused at the bandages which covered almost half his body, then he observed his new body-structure.
Wait! → Ryu
He was shocked to see long sharp nails on his hands and his skin turning with a shade darker.
What the hell?! Is this the aftereffect of consuming dragon blood? And why is this bed so small- wait… This is my bed, right? Was it always this small? Or have I became bigger?! → Ryu
“Please calm down, Ryu. I will tell you all I know.” → Bonny
Bonny then started narrating everything she saw and heard from the others after she returned back to the kingdom, her face serious as Ryu listened with a somber expression.
[[[POV CHANGES TO BERNARD’S GROUP BACK IN TIME]]]
Right before Shiroko, Ronald and Marina finished dealing with the huge Phteromos:
“The magic array is ready!” → Sofia
Sofia shouted out at Bernard as a gigantic magic circle appeared drawn atop the entire mountain, seems to be a combination between the Yin-Yang symbol and that of a sun. The mana of everyone atop the mountains, together with the energies found around, combined and started to vibrate, ready to start circulating around inside the array and balancing the amount of energy from person to person, together with absorbing more and more from around the space.
“Activate it and create a mana chain between everyone here!” → Bernard
Bernard shouted a command while he punched with an uppercut as a great stone-spear shot out from the ground and struck a bear-type spiky demonic beast.
As told, Fiora and the other mages activated the array and let the energies to circulate like a favorable storm. A strong gust of wind shot out and a shining barrier-like appeared over the mountains around, covering the entire battle zone around the Antara warriors. Everyone who stood inside the barrier, with the exception of the demonic beasts, had their mana circulated around, making for everyone to feel as if their energy was multiplied for hundreds of times as even the surplus of energy from the air was being felt and used by the warriors.
“A-amazing! I’m no longer tired!”
“Yeah! Like this, we will be able to fight for at least 3 more hours!”
“Let’s go! The beasts are reaching the peak again!”
The warriors and mages recreated the first formation. With the help of the array, they were able to keep on going and absorb mana much easier, striking down the beasts with newfound powers.
“Roah! The beasts are becoming fewer! Push them back!” → Gregor
Gregor slammed his fist hard on the top-head of a beast, crashing it on the ground and cracking its skull. He saw how the beasts became fewer and he was finally able to pinpoint the end of the wave.
“Wrong!” → Bernard
Bernard shouted out after sending flying another gorilla-type demon, surprising Gregor in making his tail jump up for a moment.
“W-why you say that?” → Gregor
“Look.” → Bernard
Bernard pointed out toward the further back where Shen and Ryu fought with the A or higher ranked beasts. There, around 9 such monsters ran toward them with wild eyes and behind them, another huge wave was coming in a hurry.
“Strengthen the defenses! The real fight starts now!”
“H-how will we fight those monsters now…?”
The players started to shiver as their fighting-spirit was slowly extinguishing. They felt as if hope was all lost while trying to survive for at least one more minute. Bernard understood their hearts and simply said in a calm voice:
“If you want to run, then go now. Nobody will blame you.” → Bernard
Bernard said with his back turned at everyone else while looking in the distance. Everywhere around him, fresh blood and gore painted the stones and boulders while he awaited the new wave of monsters to come. The ones which stood at the base of the cliff had no possibility of climbing it, either throwing stones or different elemental attacks, being afterward wiped out by the mages’ Rain of Fire which killed all the D ranked and under, monsters which were unable to climb.
Everyone was looking with confusion and stunned faces at Bernard’s back, then one of the warriors tried to speak out, only to be interrupted by him once again..
“I said if you’re scared then move your ass away from here!!!” → Bernard
Bernard roared, startling everyone. Even the ones from the further wings of defense heard him loud and clear, unable to move a muscle.
“From the moment I was saved by Lord Shen and given a place to stay in by King Ryu, I swore on my name that I will protect my lords and their people’s homes with all I have, even if I need to sacrifice my life. I will not blame you if you’re scared and wish to run away now, the chances of us surviving this are close to none. BUT! I will not run. I will stay and fight until the bitter end! With a grin etched on my face for I am giving my life for my two great lords with no regrets!” → Bernard
Bernard turned around and roared the last words with a ferocious look. He then stared at everyone and roared out again, so even the very last mage could hear him loud and clear.
“Who is with me, held onto your weapons and prepare for battle! The ones who wish to turn and flee, do so now while you still can! Today, we will die and no one will know of our glory, we will be unsung heroes and forgotten names on the face of Sario! But we will still fight! For our homes! Families! Friends! And for our honor! As true warriors of Antara!” → Bernard
Bernard roared out with sharp and blood-shot eyes while his fangs bared to everyone to see. His strong spirit leaked out and a feeling of a domineering mountain appeared around his body. The aura he emanated gave off the feeling of an unmovable mountain, of an unconquerable being which not even gods could bring down without a sacrifice.
His words, everyone heard in full. Their blood started to boil while what seemed to be a spark ready to fade inside their hearts, reignited into a deadly fire which endangered even the heavens. Even the ones who thought of fleeing remained and looked back at Bernard with sharp and cold eyes as if saying together. Don’t underestimate us! Their blood-lust was evident while their aura started to combine and spread into an enormous pressure which downed even the tall trees from around, making the weaker beasts shiver and stop their advancement in the distance.
Seeing their eyes looking at him with such firmness and resolution, made Bernard slightly nod his head in approbation.
“Good… it seems you’ve made your choice.” → Bernard
He then turned around and roared out in a sonic wave, clearing out even the dark clouds from the sky and the ominous bloody mist in the air.
“SEE YOU IN THE HIGHER FLOORS OF HEAVEN! MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS!”
Everyone shouted, emanating such a strong shockwave that it pushed the beasts that reached the peak off the cliff and down again, some of them falling on the stone-spears and spikes which were created right after clearing the first wave.
Bernard shouted out and jumped off the cliff like a projectile. Right before he met the ground, he used the element of the mountain and with a thundering sound he broke down the earth and launched in the air any beast within a 50m radius around him. Even the ground broke and shot out in the sky, knocking up the beasts then smashing them after falling back down.
Seeing the disaster he created, even Bernard himself was left baffled for a moment.
Is this… Saint power rank? Have I broken through so fast? → Bernard
Bernard felt elated for once the past few weeks. He wished to see how many more things he would be able to do now, especially in such a perfect moment.
“ROAAR!!! [Lion’s Roar]” → Bernard
He created a huge shockwave which destroyed anything in front of him, sending even the boulders flying and destroying the brains of the beasts from the sonic wave.
“Incredible! It seems that commander Bernard has broken through the last step from Grandmaster, reaching Saint Power-Rank!”
“Hah! We can’t fall behind him! Everyone! Let’s kick these beasts assess once and for all!”
Everyone was pumped up after seeing Bernard show such destructive power. They had no more patience of waiting the beasts to get up the cliff so they simply jumped down while killing any beast that tried to get up. Everyone used up even their life-essence, cutting or smashing beasts like cutting vegetables or smashing boiled potatoes.
Ronald then raised up his claws and a wave of earth-spikes grew from the ground with an impaling sound, going for as far as 20 meters in front, and 6 meters in the air.
[Earth’s Fangs Wave]!
“Haha~! You’re not the only one who can reach Saint power rank, Bernard!” → Gregor
Gregor shouted with a mad laugh while feeling an incredible surge of energy circulate through his entire being.
Ronald used his dark wind skills and created more and more Cyclops.
“GO!” → Ronald
He sent the twisting dark tornadoes toward six huge demonic beasts of rank B, turning them into minced meat and then advancing even more toward more groups of C and D ranked demonic beasts, leaving nothing behind.
“HYAAH!” → Marina
Marina focused the element of fire in her great sword and cut out hard in front. A huge wave of fire that grew bigger the further it flew, burned out close to a hundred of beasts in a breath as the scorching heat turned everything to ashes.
“[Hell’s Pillar]!” → Lissa
Lissa activated her demonic powers and a huge beam of blood red flames shot out in front, killing everything for a distance of 100m with a diameter of 4 meters radius. A huge depression was left behind, looking as if an asteroid just crashed and rolled in front and leaving nothing but dust behind.
Everyone started to use everything they had, with no care about their lives or the mana and chi they had.