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Chapter 231: Getting to the s.h.i.+p.
“Ey, those spells aren't workin'... Be that thing gettin' bigger?”
“I can see that…”
Roland watched as a large ball of tentacles rolled down the road. Even when it touched his mine spell the explosion didn’t cause a tiny bit of damage nor stop it in its tracks. A few minutes ago everything started, they had left the thieves guild corridor and ended up close to the port where they hoped to catch a s.h.i.+p and flee.
Regretfully for them, they were quickly followed by a bunch of tier 2 Lesser Abominations similar to the one he destroyed in the city with his firestorm spell. They had followed them all the way from that secret pa.s.sage and were now chasing them down.
‘This is strange…’
There was something bothering Roland when seeing this scene. Most of the monsters going after them were the ones that followed them out of the tunnel. His radar showed the monsters as red dots but before they appeared the runic system would place a random number. This number would persist for the duration of the monster being in the scanning range and then get purged to save s.p.a.ce.
If Roland wished he could begin registering his enemy’s mana signature. Saving their fingerprint took more time but allowed him to easily aim some of his homing spells during combat. Thanks to those systems in place he could tell that these creatures had mostly come from the thieves’ guild tunnels.
‘Think this confirms it, someone ordered them to chase after us.’
There was a person from the races in those tunnels, it was probably a high priest from the cult. He could have ordered the abominations to get them due to them seeing the secret tunnel entrance. Perhaps the cultists still wished to keep their secret lair down there a secret from the church. Even if their forces above ground got wiped out they could continue to rebuild as long as their foothold was there.
“Can nah ye use that spell ye used t' blast the door open?”
“I don’t think that would be a good idea, the knockback from it could damage this carriage, aiming it will also be an issue.”
Roland replied to Isabela that kept looking back and forth from the coachman’s seat. The ride down into the pier was quite b.u.mpy, the beam attack was powerful and could even damage a tier 3 monster. It traveled fast but was predictable as it went in a straight line from his chest. With how this carriage was shaking up and down he would probably miss while also using up a large chunk of his mana.
“Well ye better do somethin', those things be gettin' closer.”
While getting another spell ready he also looked around. When coming out of the tunnels the loud noises became apparent. Soldiers were fighting with the monsters and trying to keep them away from the port where all the cargo was. From the distance, he could even see armored men s.h.i.+elding themselves from the spine eaters.
Some of the s.h.i.+ps were already floating away from the sh.o.r.eline which made him nervous. Isabela rea.s.sured him that her sailors would wait for her but if that was the truth they would only find out when arriving where the s.h.i.+p was docked at. Luckily thanks to the guardsmen protecting the valuable wares there was still a chance of the monsters not reaching the docks. The sailors were less likely to be affected by the cult parasites as they all just traveled by water instead.
Finally, after gathering his mana an orb of blue light escaped from his casting rod. It traveled up into the sky before exploding. A large ma.s.s of guided mana bolts fell down on the abyssal creatures that were chasing them and riddled them with holes. This did indeed halt their approach slightly but soon the damaged monsters started combining each other once more.
“I can’t hit their cores like this…”
The homing spell worked well against regular monsters but against these creatures that possessed a core they were less than stellar. Damaging their outer sh.e.l.ls only slowed them down slightly. With the addition of the other spine eaters that were coming from the sides, the few tier 2 abominations that were chasing after them had free healing potions that they could absorb.
‘If I can’t slow them down with attacking spells then…’
Roland had already tried raising the ground with his earth spells but the street they were on had been reinforced with something to the point of him not being able to. The little b.u.mps in the road were not doing anything thus there was only one thing left in his repertoire to try.
They were about halfway towards their destination and some of the rolling ma.s.ses of tentacles were gaining on them. The first one forward was showing its sharp teeth but before it could get in range of its target something moist hit it. There was no pain, just a mild feeling of annoyance as it gave out a low-pitched howl. It was. .h.i.t in the face by a large orb of water which was not the only one as they continued to fly its way.
These orbs of water were common aqua ball spells that Roland was now shooting at a high rate from the carriage. This attack was not meant to hurt the monster but to prepare it for the following magic. He did not know if the creature could feel anything but if it could the drop in temperature would soon start causing it pain.
The air behind the carriage started dropping below zero while being pushed outwardly by strong winds. By combining three types of spells he hoped to stop the pursuing monsters in their tracks. First came water that was quickly followed by a cold wind, the freezing temperature of the frost spell was enhanced by the strong wind and the result was quickly noticeable.
This abyssal abomination started to be surrounded by a thin layer of frost. At first, it could just shrug it off but soon the air started to get colder and colder. The tentacles that were wriggling at high speeds started to be encased in ice which tremendously reduced its speed.
It was freezing and visibly getting stuck. The other abominations that were behind it were able to quickly catch up to it, with all the momentum they built up ramming into their ally was obvious. The stopgap was successful as he fired a few more aqua b.a.l.l.s and a frost spell to encase more of the creatures in ice.
“This won’t slow them down forever, how much longer…”
“The h.e.l.l are these s.h.i.+ts!”
Roland had been successful in stopping their pursuers but another problem arose. When he turned around he could see some strange spider-like thing jumping at Senna. Yet on further inspection, it was far from an arachnid-type monster. The appendages that he confused for spider legs were actually human ribs. Its head was composed of some tentacles and a similar lengthier one that had a blade on the top.
The creature flung itself on the halfling with those bony legs as if it was trying to grapple her. Luckily Senna had predicted this movement and with her enhanced agility, she slipped to the side. Even though her feet landed on the side of the carriage she didn’t fall down but instead, she remained standing horizontally.
“Aye s.h.i.+t, scuttle this thing!”
Isabela started screaming like a little girl when she saw this creature lodge itself into the roof of the coach.
“I got it!”
Orson that was inside the carriage was quick on the uptake. His long sword pierced through the wood that this monster attached itself to. The blade went right through the creature's human spine which caused immediate death. The tentacle blade on its head started wiggling around as it just dropped dead on the spot.
This wasn’t over as many other smaller creatures like this one appeared on the buildings on the side. It seemed that they had abandoned their host bodies that they took over to achieve a faster form to chase them down. Now they were jumping from the sides and trying to attach themselves to the damaged carriage with eight people on it.
“Na ye don’t!”
From the left side, Dalrak popped out along with his halberd. One of the creatures was quickly smacked to the side by his weapon. On the right side, the same incident occurred with one of the beings being cleaved by a large axe.
“We’ll take care of the sides!”
The three adventurers that were on the inside of the carriage shouted while poking their heads and weapons out. While the abyssal monsters were faster in this form they were also a lot more fragile. Smacking them away was enough to shatter their bones and even one hit was deadly.
“Ye better grab somethin', 'tis goin' t' hurt!”
Roland just like the others had switched from slowing down the main monster force to trying to get the smaller ones from attacking them. The trip could not last forever, eventually the party of eight found themselves at the end of the road. It was a miracle that the wooden coach made it all the way towards the port but now the trip was over.
Before them stood a barricade made from crates, logs, and various other items that the forces behind had stacked up. The horses were clearly unwilling to smash into it so they tried going to the side. This sharp turn along with the momentum tossed the whole carriage into the barricade.
“Thanks fer the help.”
Isabela was quick to jump off while holding her magical rapier in hand. She thrust her weapon towards the two horses that were pulling them along. With a few precisely aimed hits she was able to free them from the harness before they met their demise. This allowed them to scatter a bit before the inevitable collision.
Roland was luckily on the tail end of this all, right before the crash he activated his buffing spells to jump off. It was quite the sight to behold, the n.o.ble carriage they stole started side rolling along the barricade as if it was a ramp. It shot up into the sky and quickly crashed on the other side.
When his feet were back on the ground he quickly turned around to deliver a smack with his metal rod to one of those spider-like monsters. The thing flew into the distance while shattering into smaller bone fragments and tentacles after failing. It wasn’t over yet, they had arrived at the port but they still needed to get to the s.h.i.+p.
“Woah, that was close, I thought I wouldn’t make it…”
Orson was down on the ground with one of Isabela’s sisters sitting on his back. The other one was to the other side with Grisalde. Senna had no trouble performing a somersault through the air and landing on the barricade but there was still one person missing.
“Wait, where is Darlak?”
Roland asked while looking around, everyone was accounted for with only the dwarf missing. All of them started looking around before settling their eyes on the pancaked carriage on the other side of the barricade. Quickly they all bolted towards it but before they could cross to the other side they saw a group of soldiers.
“Who are you, people!”
“f.u.c.k o', I be cap'n Isabela move, I wants t' get back t' me s.h.i.+p.”
The confused guardsmen were quickly shouted at by the s.h.i.+p captain that was already on the other side. All of the people here looked to be on edge but they could tell that they were not part of the abyssal creatures. Some monster corpses along with human ones were scattered around here but it seemed that the place was mostly under control. Yet Roland knew what was coming and that these guards would not be able to contend with the abominations that he was only able to disable for a moment.
“If you want to live, you should run.”
“Hey Darlak you stupid dwarf, are you in there?”
“Aye, Ah think a'm a'right bit mah arm…”
Orson was the first one to arrive at the wreckage with his party member. Dalrak kicked open what used to be part of the wooden door to get himself out. Dwarves like him were not very nimble so during the escape he was unable to quickly react. Instead, he just curled up behind his tower s.h.i.+eld while hoping for the best. The result was a mostly alive Dalrak with a dislocated shoulder or perhaps a broken arm.
“Ah kin still carry mah s.h.i.+eld, a'm fine.”
While he tried to play it off it was clear that he was in some pain but they needed to continue. Grisalde kicked the rubble to the side and grabbed the halberd that was left behind.
“I got his weapon, let's go.”
“Halt, you can’t just…”
The soldiers quickly stormed from all the sides to investigate the small group of adventurers. It was clear that they had their orders and there was a possibility of them being their enemy, but before they could question them a strange deep howl came from the other side of the barricade.
“Ah, s.h.i.+t! Run!”
Orson threw Dalrak over his shoulder and started running after Isabela and her two sisters. The sisters had already used the confusion to sprint towards the pier that their s.h.i.+p was in and now the monsters that were pursuing them had arrived. Roland could also clearly tell that it were the abominations as his scanner had kept their mana fingerprint.
The soldiers standing there had all their weapons drawn and were ready to fight. By the number of dead creatures here, they had been able to protect the area. Perhaps this was the reason why they weren’t taking them that seriously. Even now they were keeping Roland’s way to the docks closed.
That was until the howling noises got louder and something slammed into the blockade. While previously it was only smaller monsters that didn’t pose much of a threat to the trained soldiers, this time around it was something more ma.s.sive. The moment the ball of tentacles collided with the obstacle it tore it to shreds.
“Wayland what are you doing!”
The others took this as a chance to bolt towards the pier where the s.h.i.+p was. The confused guards would not stop them when contending with the monster there. Roland felt a bit responsible for bringing those things here but he was not the one causing widespread slaughter. He was just trying to save himself along with his party members that were trying to achieve the same.
Thus he turned away and started running. The monsters managed to bulldoze their way forward but they were still far away. With nothing else to stop their escape, they continued forward while hoping to get to the s.h.i.+p before it sailed away.
“The cap'n be back!”
“Wha' are ye idiots waitin' fer, raise the anchor!”
“But wha' about the cargo?”
“Screw the cargo!”
To Roland's surprise, it was like Isabela had proclaimed earlier and her crew was still there. He had expected them to at least undock and remain at a distance from land where the monsters were at. Perhaps they had remained here as there weren’t any afflicted and the fighting was happening outside. Nevertheless, it seemed that his plan of getting out of here would succeed.
Isabela and her sisters were fast to jump onto their s.h.i.+p to bark out orders. The anchor was quickly raised by the crewmembers that got to work quickly. The wooden walkway that was placed between the vessel and the pier was also quickly removed before Roland and his party could get on.
“Wha' are ye waitin' fer, jump.”
It didn’t seem that Isabela was willing to wait for them. Instead, she was quickly ordered everyone to get her out of this G.o.d-forsaken place. The monsters continued to screech from the distance which probably added to her panicked state. Senna was the first to arrive on the s.h.i.+p as she was not far behind, then came Grisalde and Orson with a Dwarf over his shoulder.
“Wayland, what are you doing?”
Surprisingly the last person was the armored man that helped them get here. At this very moment, he was just standing in the distance while glowing. Before anyone could ask more questions a large ma.s.s of black tentacles appeared out of nowhere. It knocked several soldiers out of the way while rapidly going down the steep hill towards the group that was leaving. With the speed and momentum it had, it would be able to catapult itself onto the slowly departing vessel.
That is if it didn’t receive a concentrated blast of energy that escaped from Roland’s chest. Before the monster could contemplate its mistake a large hole appeared in the middle. The concentrated beam of energy spread to the sides and luckily caught the core which caused an almost instantaneous death to this abomination.
While being drained and with a migraine, Roland quickly took off towards the leaving s.h.i.+p. The sailors on it were surprised to see someone able to move with such speed while wearing a heavy-looking suit of armor. Their jaws dropped even more after he jumped and safely landed on their deck while producing two small holes for each foot.
The chase was over and all eight of them were now on the s.h.i.+p. Following the dead abyssal creature came more that halted in their advance when reaching the end of the pier. All they could see were their flailing tentacles that could not reach them, finally, they were safe but could they really leave this area unscathed?