Chapter 35 – Life and Death
The demon beast growled, it was being incessantly pestered by an annoying fly and its rage grew bigger. It stood on its hind legs and let out a powerful roar that resonated through the air.
Ran felt like her head was about to explode and she lost her footing. The bear slashed at her. Her heart throbbed. At this point, she couldn’t evade it. Her face turned dark. She jumped backwards, took several monsters’ corpses to bear the paw. She used the last corpse as a stepping stone to withdraw further back. The claws went through the carcass like a hot knife through butter. Ran managed to retrieve a corpse to cushion her fall before crashing on the ground. She bounced back a couple of meters . Her ribs cracked. Her left shoulder dislocated. She vomited blood. She fought to stay conscious.
“Activate Burning Flame.” Ran managed to mutter.
Warning! Critical condition!
Host’s level and stats are too low to use Burning flame
Her body shook and she spat more blood.
Burning flame has evolved into Blazing Sun
Blood and surrounding Mana will be burnt to alleviate fatigue and replenish HP and MP.
Lv 1: Mana and blood in a 1m radius zone will be burnt.
It wasn’t until Rikku heard Parvian scream that he snapped back in. The demon beast growled again. Rikku hadn’t moved at all. Ran was dragging herself up. The blood on her body was burning. Vapour rose around her. Her ravenous eyes were fixed on the demon beast.
Rikku clenched his jaw; he had made his choice. 3 shadows appeared at his side. In an instant, the shadows flickered and reappeared near the demon beasts. Rikku breathed deeply and mobilised all the mana available.
“Blood Sacrifice!” Rikku coldly commanded. “Gather and let the shadow world arise.”
The blood-soaked earth trembled around him. Black shadows rose from the ground; slaughtered beasts and fallen humans. A shadow army came into existence.
“One minute only.” Rikku bawled to the others.
This skill was too taxing and his level too low. Shadow beasts and former humans alike attacked with ferocity. They swarmed the demon beast. The bear slashed and clawed its way through the silhouettes. One after the others, the soldiers exploded. However, wounds started to add themselves on the demon beast. All hope wasn’t lost just yet.
“Hah!” Ran cried out. The air around her was burning and slowly but surely, her internal wounds started to recover.
Parvian jumped into the fray. From the rooftop of the carriage, he shot arrows after arrows like a madman. An arrow found its way right to the bear’s eye. It bellowed in pain. At this exact moment, the 3 shadows landed their blow. One shadow thrust her short-sword into a wound near its ribs. Another shadow slashed at the tendons of its hind legs. Lastly, the last shadow leapt over, stepped on its shoulder, swung a war-hammer and smashed it on its jaw. The bear threw its arms around, sending the last shadow flying. It wailed in pain, its lower jaw broke open.
Rikku shuddered. He fell to his knees and spat blood. Instantly, every shadow imploded. This had indeed been too heavy for him. It was now or never. The beast was thrashing around, blinded and wounded. Supported by her fighting spirit, Ran dashed forward. A clear bottle appeared in her hand.
Behind her, the guys forgot to breathe. They didn’t know what Ran was going to do, their hearts were pounding out of their chest. The beast had been weakened by Rikku’s shadows and blinded. Its mouth was wide open, as long as she was close and accurate enough, they had a chance to escape.
“Hah!” She was ready to throw the bottle.
She faced the beast. Her arm rose, the bomb was ready. She stared at the struggling beast. Faced with the eventuality of her death, her hand hesitated. The thought flashed through her heart. The insidious gleam dazzled and captured her heart for an instant. A short instant that cost her greatly. The beast suddenly sensed her and clawed around. Ran froze, her eyes as wide as saucers. A thin mist condensed in front of her and turned into an icy shield. The claws slashed through. The shield cracked. In a desperate move, just before the shield completely shattered, she threw the bottle as close to its mouth as she could. The bomb exploded and the corpse of an enormous boar appeared to protect her from the blast.
The blast was more powerful than she’d imagined, her body soared backwards, tumbled and bounced around violently. Rikku rushed to catch her. The impact took his breath away and he too was dragged backwards. Dorian jumped in and caught them. An eerie silence followed the explosion.
For a second, nothing could be heard. The beast was laying down, immobile. The fur on its head was burnt and it was laying in a pool of blood. The air was filled with the smell of burnt meat. Rikku’s face was drained of colours, his ribs were crushed, blood oozed out of his mouth. He wanted to take a potion, but his right arm couldn’t move. A flask appeared in his left hand. But his quivering hand lacked even the faintest strength to feed him.
Parvian jumped down from the carriage and helped him drink. After Rikku finished one, Parvian gave him one of his too as his injuries were life-threatening. Rikku breathed out and winced. He looked down. Ran had rolled out of his embrace and Dorian was hastily feeding her potion, mouth to mouth. Her eyelashes fluttered and her face regained some life. Rikku, Dorian and Parvian breathed out in relief.
When Ran opened her eyes, she met 3 worried pair of eyes. She grimaced.
“Are we still alive?”
“For now, yes.” Parvian sighed softly.
“You almost died.” Rikku reproached while helping her sit.
“Almost.” Her head was a bit dizzy. She blinked fast, she’d come back from the dead, “Too bad!”
Rikku scowled. “ Don’t –
The roar felt like an earthquake. The ground trembled and the quartet’s hearts shattered into nothingness. The demon beast wasn’t dead. Worse, it had gone berserk. It wailed. The cry was deep and horrendous. Half of its lower face was missing. Its neck was a bloody mess of charred flesh. It tried to stand on 2 feet, but its tendons were wounded, so it fell down. It bellowed even louder. The horses they had painstakingly managed to keep alive, collapsed to death, with twitching bodies and foaming mouths.
The bear thrashed about in frenzy and the group was too bewildered and stunned to react. Terror was overwhelming their soul. In an instant, it moved near them. With a sweep of its antler, Rikku was thrown dozens of meters away. Dorian was smashed deep into the ground. Parvian was standing still, trembling and crying. He saw death and felt powerless in front of its magnificence.
“Aaaaahh!” A war cry sounded from under the demon beast.
Ran had rolled under it. Her small arms were thrust deep into a gaping wound at its ribs.
The bear roared furiously, shaking its body in an attempt to get rid of her. Ran gripped the flesh and muscles around her hand tightly.
“Get out of here now! Take them with you!” Ran cried out to Parvian.
Another paw swept by and Ran fell over.
“SPIN!” Torrent of blood flowed out of the wound.
Ran barely avoided a blow as she rolled to the side.
Her arms were drenched in blood. The blood morphed into claws and Ran threw herself at the bear’s back. She clawed in deep. She was riding the bear’s back in a wild rodeo, fighting to stay on it. She lifted one hand; the blood on it turned into a drill that she thrust deep into some bleeding wound it had on its back.
“Aaaaah! BURN! MOTHERFUCKER!”
Blazing Sun has levelled up
Lv 2: Mana in a 2m radius zone will be burnt. Blood in a 3m radius zone will be burnt.
Parvian helped Dorian and Rikku get away from the fight. They drank their last potions and kept their lives. They heard the bear waile in pain; its mana and blood were burning from the inside out. Ran howled as well. One beast and one human were burning alive. They watched the scene, powerless.