Chapter 24: Hobgoblin Frenzy

“Ryan, take on the right one. Leo, the left one! Once one of the hobs reaches lethal, everyone Dash into it and kill it! No hesitation!” Shesmu barked out.

 

Leo and Ryan immediately sprung into action, listening to Shesmu’s orders. Ryan faced the hobgoblin on the right, who coincidentally also held a dagger as its main weapon. It was an assassin variant like the one they fought in the goblin sleeping room. The hobgoblin Ryan faced held a two-handed sword and had 1200 Hp. From the looks of it, it was a tank variant.

 

Shesmu faced the hobgoblin in the middle. It held a one-handed sword and had an Hp of 1100, it was a warrior variant. Shesmu ran towards it, sword in hand and feigned a slash. The monster took the bait and activated a skill. It sword glowed a bright shade of red before the goblin slashed diagonally at Shesmu. Expecting this outcome, Shesmu easily dodged the attack to the left and countered with a hit of his own.

 

Empowered Slash!

 

Shesmu activated his skill and used Empowered Slash Cancel, chipping away at the creature’s health. Then, with a swift motion, he roundhouse kicked the hobgoblin in the face, making it dizzy for a few seconds. Shesmu then continued with a front kick that catapulted the creature into the air.

 

Leo was in a standoff against his enemy when a hobgoblin came flying from the direction of Shesmu. The monster that Leo was facing turned into a cushion for his teammate to soften his landing. Both of them fell on the ground, leaving them at the mercy of Shesmu’s party.

 

The moment the two creatures fell was the moment Ryan appeared in front of them. His dagger glowed green before he plunged it deep into the warrior hobgoblin’s heart, activating the instant death mechanism.

 

However, even though this moment should have been exciting for Ryan’s teammates, Shesmu’s face turned livid. He turned to look at the assassin hobgoblin, only to not to find anything.

 

“Guys!-”

 

The moment Shesmu turned back to look at his teammates and warn them, he was stopped by the sight of a bloody Ryan. A dagger was poking out of his chest, baptized by the blood of his teammate. Shesmu kept looking at Ryan’s shocked face before focusing on the hob behind him. The creature had a cold look on its eyes as it made eye contact with Shesmu.

 

No, it’s going for Leo next!

 

“Leo, run!” Shesmu shouted out. And the moment he cried out was the moment the hobgoblin vanished, leaving a falling Ryan bleed out on the ground. Without even thinking, Shesmu used Dash and teleported towards Leo. At the same exact moment, both Shesmu and the hobgoblin appeared, each of which had their weapon ready to strike.

 

The hobgoblin didn’t expect Shesmu to appear before him and hesitated for a moment. That second of hesitation was all Shesmu needed to settle the duel once and for all. Empowered Thrust, Shesmu thrust his sword, its target was the hob’s heart.

 

The creature felt a cold shiver down its spine. Its instinct screamed danger at it, and the monster immediately raised its arms to guard. Unfortunately, it was all too late.

 

Plosh

 

By the time the hobgoblin’s arms were raised halfway, Shesmu already plunged his sword deep into its heart. The light dimmed out of its eyes before the hobgoblin slowly fell on Shesmu’s shoulder and then on the ground.

 

All this time, Leo couldn’t do anything but stand awestruck. He was about to say something before a noise behind him stopped him dead in his tracks.

 

Both Shesmu and Leo looked at the source of the noise, only to see the tank hobgoblin slowly stand up. While it was getting up an unexpected movement drew everyone’s attention. Ryan who was supposed to be dead had his fingers twitch.

 

Shesmu rejoiced at the survival of his friend and used Inspect on him to check his HP. Of his 184 max HP, only 24 remained.

 

However, it wasn’t only Shesmu and Leo that noticed Ryan’s movement, the tank hobgoblin did too, and he was but a few steps away from Ryan.

 

Understanding the severity of the situation, Shesmu immediately ordered, “ Leo, teleport towards the hob!”

 

Not even taking the time to respond to Shesmu’s command, Leo used Dash and appeared in front of the monster, blocking its way towards reaching Ryan.

 

“Big dumbo gotta kill me first if you wanna touch him,” Leo taunted.

 

While Leo was busy blocking the hobgoblin’s way, Shesmu ran towards DepressedRyan before he rebuked him.

 

“Idiot, why aren’t you using a potion already? You still have a bleed effect eating at your HP, don’t you?”

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Looking at Shesmu’s angry face, DepressedRyan smiled, “you really know a lot of stuff, Shesmu, don’t you?” He asked before taking out an HP potion from his inventory and gulping it. “The way you move, the way you fight, even the decision you make. All of them are so good, and all of them are so unique in a sense.”

 

Listening to DepressedRyan speak, Shesmu panicked for a second. Did he figure it out already? But I made sure not to do anything out of the ordinary, how did I mess up?

 

“Shesmu. For some reason, your face, your name and everything you does feel so familiar. I don’t know why, but there is this feeling inside my heart that tells me we’re really similar,” DepressedRyan then stayed silent for a moment before continuing.

 

“You asked me before why did I play such an assassin-like version of the swordsman class. I have been thinking about it for a while, and even up to this point I don’t understand. The only thing I know is that this morning I had a strong headache, and after that, something inside me changed.”

 

After another bout of silence, DepressedRyan continued his explanation, “It sounds weird, right? But I really can’t tell what happened. After that headache, my body started doing weird things all of his own. The food that I usually ate felt bland like I no longer like it, shows I never paid attention to suddenly became interesting. And, maybe most importantly, when I entered this game, something was wrong. It was too… Familiar… Like a Déjà-vu, it felt as if I have played it for the longest time.

 

“Hey, Shesmu, tell me, is it the same for you?” DepressedRyan asked with an innocent smile

 

Shesmu’s heart clenched with every word coming out of Ryan’s mouth. So, you too have been stranded in this timeline with no choice of your own. Wasn’t it the case, Ryan?

 

Shesmu didn’t know how to answer Ryan at all. Many emotions and thoughts intertwined in his brain. On one side, Ryan might be the only person that comes from Shesmu’s timeline. Even though his experience was different from Shesmu’s own, he still felt a strong connection to Ryan. On the other hand, fear from the trouble that will befall him and his friends shall Shesmu’s secret be known overwhelmed him.

 

In the end, Shesmu just closed his eyes in resignation. He then opened them and smiled, “I’m not sure, Ryan. But if it is something that had to do with Ashes of Gods, then we will surely find out about it sooner or later.”

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