chapter 294 – salvation

“This is a right ploppin’, that’s for sure” Isaac Bird growled as he fell back from the cracks in the door.

The water he’d seen had sliced through monsters as if they weren’t even there, not to mention the other monsters he’d seen as they battered against the horde assembled outside the warehouse.

How could he explain it? Had some master mage and tamer heard of their plight whilst travelling past? Such a thing would be a darned miracle. Not only because a mage with the strength and means to raise two powerful pets would be a rare as hens teeth in this part of the world, but such a person would almost assuredly be part of the upper crust and unlikely to lower themselves to assisting some townsfolk and guards stuffed in a warehouse.

Isaac scrambled back onto his feet and tightened his grip around his spear once more. Whatever the reason, it wouldn’t matter a bit if his people died before the monsters were killed.

“Step back from the door you bleedin’ piles of flamin’ trash!” he bellowed over the roar of the fight, “if that water comes through you’re gonna end up in pieces and I aint’ got any glue!”

The men and women who’d braced the danger to brace the warehouse door stepped back in confusion. The spray of water blasted through the cracks and soaked them but they hadn’t seen the water jet itself and didn’t appreciate how deadly it was.

They moved too slow for Isaac and leapt forward to pull them back. Many of them flinched as if they expected the door to be forced in the second they were no longer holding it shut but no such thing occurred.

“You and you” Isaac pointed at two of the bedraggled survivors, “get out the back and get on bucket duty, make sure there’s nothing burning in here.”

The two, a man and a woman who looked barely old enough for marriage but had fought their way through hell in the last week, nodded and rushed to hit the buckets. The others gathered near the wide doors of the warehouse looked to Isaac for guidance.

“Looks like help has arrived people” he told them and watched the hope blossom in their expressions.

Judging from the horrific din from outside the warehouse, the battle was still raging out there. The bellowing of monsters, the crash and thud of heavy blows and impacts rang in their ears without pause.

What they do? Just wait it out? Hope that whoever had come to their rescue was victorious?

“I’ll be damned if I hide like a rat in a bleedin’ hole!” Isaac bellowed.

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“Form the line you idiots! You think you’re rescued already? Thousands of monsters out there need killin’! You wanna live then get your arse up and in line! Spears front and at the ready!”

Isaac stormed through the ranks of his ‘guards’, most them fishermen and shopkeepers, as he shouted, pushed and harassed his people until he had a rag tag group of twenty formed up behind the door in the most pathetic excuse for a box formation he’d ever seen. He was damned proud of it.

Most of these people hadn’t seen a monster and never held a weapon in their life. Here they were one week later with steady hands and steel in their eyes.

“If we’re gonna survive then we need to get out there and help. With all the monsters distracted by the assault from behind we’ll have a good chance to stick a few before they even realise we’re there. Get in position now you sack of pig sick! Do I need to open the doors me bloody self?”

After another minute of furious cursing they were ready. He’d sent a runner to the roof so the archers knew they were coming out and to give them cover and he had two young boys on the door, ready to yank them open and allow the spear wielding formation to charge through.

Isaac checked his grip on the spear one more time. He’d already busted four spears in the last week, he was hoping this would be the last one he needed.

“Alright then. Stab ’em right in the face! Charge!” he screamed.

The doors to the warehouse flew open and they charged out, momentarily blinded by the sudden change in light. It didn’t slow them at all as they hurtled forward, the lot of them screaming like demons of the Dungeon.

When his vision cleared he was faced with a horrifying bear monster, its fur covered body rippling with muscle. Isaac thanked any gods who might be listening as well the path just to cover his bases, since the creature was faced away from him.

“Haaaaaaaa!” he roared his challenge and stabbed forward with all his might.

“Raaaaaaa!” the townsfolk who followed him echoed his ferocity, each of them stabbed out in rough unison, taking advantage of the monsters distraction.

The twang of bowstrings rang out and Isaac was relieved to see arrows sprout on the backs and shoulders of the monsters in front. Seems like the archers received his message. Fingers crossed this’ll be enough.

Isaac didn’t know who had come to help them, but he hoped that with them all fighting it would be enough.

Not willing to dwell on negative thoughts, he pushed them out of his mind and focused on the only thing that mattered. Stabbing. Your shoulders don’t ache, your legs aren’t burning and your lungs aren’t burning from smoke, he told himself, rest when you’re dead!

As his mind crystalized around that one thought he brought his spear back and lunged forward again, following the instincts embedded in him by the System and honed over countless hours of practice. His waist rotated in synch with his step, transferring his mass through his feet, to his hips, to his shoulders and then to his arms and through them, his spear. At the critical moment he executed a dash, just a tiny one, a ‘micro-dash’ as bastard trainer Willom had described it. Put it all together and a simple thrust with a spear became something altogether more deadly.

Like a bullet, Isaac’s thrust rocketed forward and pierced deep into the hide of the beast, tore through muscle and slipped past bone. With a long groan the bear slumped down, its monstrous form drained of vitality and Isaac turned to find new prey.

Except there wasn’t any.

Only allowed on

In front of him stood an amazon of a women in leather armour, covered in gore and heaving for breath.

There were several possible things happening here, but any way it went, Isaac felt like his dreams had come true.

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