Chapter 31 - A Twist Of Divinity
The orc had made their way through my dungeon like a good oil adventurer party, with years of experience in delving and hundreds of challenges they had overcome as a team. How easy they made the dive look was scary, they know where what was and were prepared for most of my traps or surprise assaults. Furthermore, their team worked together perfectly and they seemed like a singular creature, not like a five-man party.
With their overwhelming teamwork, knowledge, and experience they quickly made it to the 8th zone. Along the way I observed them carefully, trying to get an advantage for the coming fight, any hint of weakness I could use.
While the orc party delved through my dungeon and I observed them patiently the rest of the last defense team prepared for the coming hurdle. There was the monarch avian Tier 8 weak, Aliet with his Tier 7 peak Royal Griffin and Arthur the Tier 8 peak Moneral aranea.
I would support the fight through my own avatar, the Tier 8 peak Boss Nightwalker and the 8th zones guardian the Minor longsnekity construct of misfortune at tier 7 Peak.
Our force was something to be reckoned with and should not be underestimated under any circumstances. The people and monsters that would take part in this fight would probably represent a significant part of the world's highest Tier creatures. I was sure that we were not the peak, which was made clear to me by the fight against the drider queen, but we were close to the top.
The orcs were now entering the 8th zone and started with the first of my puzzles. It was clear they knew what they had to do and thusly immediately started without and hustle or bustle. The Rubiks cube was solved after only two passes and the Team was able to continue on.
In the next area, they all worked on their individual projects- The orc elemental crafted a beautiful mana battery and the goblin summoner created one of his more powerful creatures. All in all the area was quickly defeated and the group was able to go further into my domain.
The difficulty of the 8th zone lay within its drastically different skillset that would be needed to overcome the zone. Most adventurers were not apt in crafting at all, which was why they chose the profession of the adventurer in the first place.
This would transform the relatively easy challenge for any crafter or scholar into a quite difficult one that would stop most ordinary parties in their tracks. Though the emphasis lay on ordinary. In this case, the party was already thoroughly prepared for any challenges I could throw at them and they were quite talented in crafting and puzzle-solving.
That they didn’t slack in fighting either proved the party in the timed killing challenge. On their first run, they immediately broke the record and undercut the previous masters’ time by half.
Not flustered or surprised by their record at all they continued on into the Trivial memory area. They slowed down significantly, as it seemed they weren’t that good in any knowledge-based stuff. Which was quite natural for orcs, which traded in their long-term memory for bloodlust and pure power.
Nevertheless they, at last, completed the game of memory in the last second and were able to enter the craftable course. In the coming two challenges they certainly made good the time they lost in the trivial memory.
The craftacle course was mostly skipped by mind-bending feats of acrobatics and unbelievable power Especially Yam the Blade coryphée presented a show worth thousands of viewers. This apparent talent for obstacle courses was further useful in the jump and run area.
With two sectors completed, they entered the second half of the 8th zone. The escape of the room proofed quite difficult for the diverse party. Most of them were trained their whole lives in different disciplines ranging from arcane or martial to crafting or social skills. Though one thing they certainly didn’t experience war the life of a commoner or even though.
This was what proved nearly fatal to the team in the 7th area. The skills that would come from trying or even managing to escape a prison would certainly be useful in this scenario. In the end, the group was able to escape the room by using trial and error. The hundreds of summons from Varbuk sacrificed themselves for the job.
Following the escape and average performance in the speed crafting area, they were met with the mirror fight. In this specific clash, even my mirrors came to their limits. The orcs that were trained from their first birthday on knew fighting better than anyone else, even themselves.
With not-so-happy expectations, they continued on into the fourth puzzle room. While at first, they tried to solve the room the way It was intended they quickly got impatient. Their powerful bodies would withstand the glancing damage from the traps, they just needed someone to spring them.
Again, as with the “escape the room” area, Varbuks summoned goblinoids who came to the rescue. They sacrificed their bodies to prepare their masters' way forth into my domain. The last two areas, as well as all the ones before, were no real challenge to them. Their long training in crafting allowed them to overcome the “survival crafting” area. Later the “Team construct fight” was won without any blemishes to show on the Team construct, thanks to Yam the Blade Coryphée.
With all the challenges they, after a small break, continued on into the last area, the guardian fight. Expecting the snake construct and the 5th-reality chess, they were quite surprised with what they found instead.
To allow me to use the last boss in the fight I had to open up the core room so the guardian area and my core room could be seen as one. Thusly the orcs could see directly at their objective, the end of their long journey, and the reason for their rigorous and exhausting training. Though between their objective and them stood the defending party.
After a minute of eerie silence, in which the artificial wind slowly traveled along its programmed path and the various mimics of nature, the construct, transformed the scenery into a hybrid between nature and technology, the battle started.
Aliet and his aerial stallion immediately fly over the orcs’ heads and engage their backline. After a quick look from Yam the orcs’ leader, Zilge the telekinetic orc supports the disadvantaged corrupted Orc priest.
On the frontline, Arthur and Yam clash together taking the two most powerful people out of the equation. As Varbuk tried to support his leader and get Yam into an advantageous position by summoning some rogue goblinoids that should distract Arthur, the Boss interrupts him.
The colossal Boss Nightwalker takes two longs strolls over the battlefield and finds himself before the summoning orc. The orc, quickly realizing his mistake, abandons his summoning process and instead casts an emergency spell. A giant mouth comes off from below the summoner and swallows him up, only to spit him out some distance away from the Nightwalker.
In the meanwhile, the minor longsnekity construct of misfortune engages in a battle with the orc elemental. They are both at the same Tier and equal in strength, resulting in an immediate and total stalemate between the two minor powers.
I didn’t have anyone specific to fight against and instead flew around the battlefield supporting my mates left and right.
The fight between the orcs’ leader, summoner, and Arthur together with the boss nightwalker was leaning heavily towards us in favourability. Thusly instead of supporting my past enemy I instead supported Aliet, the avian king from the flying islands.
He and his loyal follower fought against the two orcs in perfect harmony that could only be born through a lifelong bond. Their movements were coordinated and matched each other wholly. Their fighting style looked more like a rhythmic dance and made it difficult for me to interrupt them.
While they both tried to overwhelm the telekinetic orc they missed the orc priest preying to their deity for power. The amount of it she got was more than I ever would have thought possible for a person just at Tier 8 weak, it even reminded me of the spells the drider queen threw around.
I flew towards the praying woman as she began her last phrase of prayer and the ghastly melody was close to its end. She uttered her last syllables just as I reached her. A field of pure force, a bright shield interwoven with numerous dark strings of corruption, jumped up to around her.
My desperation was reaching its peak and I was desperately trying to break the barrier around the praying women. After milliseconds turned into hundreds of seconds and I saw the last moments of my long-lost friend draw closer and closer, apparently, my plea for help was answered.
Out of nowhere, the Boss Nightwalker came into my peripheral view. His long legs taking him over the ground faster than even an eagle in a nosedive. Coming to a thundering stop before the shining women he transformed his momentum into force. With a lightning-fast kick, the priest went airborne.
Her prayer found its end and her call for help was answered. On the surface, just some kilometers from the Pavillion a beam of light struck the earth. The farmers in the area waiting for their last moments were thoroughly surprised when the expected shockwave never reached them.
Instead, the beam entered a portal which then appeared on the top of the 8th zone. The strike from heaven quickly made its way down and touched upon the earth. In the end, my last defender’s kick was enough to throw of the priest's spell by enough to only heavily injure the avian pair. The beam had taken area of the face of the 8th zone, close to its center the three wounded lay moaning, seeing the grim reaper waiting for their demise.
For a while, after the beam hit the earth silence dominated the battlefield, even the artificial environment found it fitting to stay still.
The silence was broken by the priest's body lifting up from the crater where she was kicked in. The feeling she gave of right now was quite different from what we all felt before. The sick feeling from before was transformed into a cleansing light even worse. Her eyes were empty, like those of a puppet under a master's control and her movements felt unnatural though somehow refined.
Once the figure had our full attention it lifted the priest's hands up into the air. Her fingers contorted into various symbols quickly forming a complex spell circle over all our heads.
I looked back at the orcs’ leaders and our eyes met. His, just as mine, were open wide and I could see a hint of sadness and realization reflect in his irises. Over the second of eye contact, an ungodly amount of information and emotion exchanged minds. It was as if his soul connected to mine, an age-long bond similar to the one I had with Arthur was intertwining its first strings.
We both knew what we had to do at just this moment. Right now there was something else more important at stake than finishing the objective he had.
With a quick telepathic message from me and a shout from Yam both clashing teams brought their attention to the glowing women flying in the air. After a quick look at the orc, I found them frowning at their leader and getting suspicious of his decision, nevertheless, they would listen for now.
Yam and I stayed back quickly coordinating the thrown-together team and forming the group into a well-oiled machine. To disrupt the puppets casting my Nightwalker threw one after another exploding goblin at the glowing women. At first, this showed no hints of actually working but after a while cracks began to form in the barrier.
In the meanwhile Zilge and the Snake construct teamed up, the orc used the constructs inorganic parts to make it move faster and perform erratic and unpredictable movements. Together with the snake and orc team both of our aerial teammates closed the distance to the priest.
Her barrier now was close to breaking and with a high-frequency clink, the barrier shattered into uncountable pieces once the snake and orc team gave it the rest. This prepared the way for Aliet and his royal griffin who quickly used the opportunity to take to puppet down to earth.
As if taken out of stasis the corrupted orc priest fluttered towards the ground with increasing speed. Her limbs were dragging behind her and her body, excluding her fingers, was absolutely motionless.
Once she crashed to the ground the waiting Arthur quickly thrust his sword her way. Though in the last moment the puppet was yanked away as if pulled around by strings and cords connected to her body.
After the areaneas unsuccessful hit, a chase ensued. The frontliners tried to desperately reach the puppet who was continually pulled away by some extraterrestrial power. In the meanwhile the spell circle in the zones center continued to grow larger and more complex, threatening to take the whole four nations with it.
While observing the chase on the ground I thought that I saw a hint of an infinitesimal strang of silk connecting the puppet to something else. After I observed the puppet with all my attention I again saw the small string connecting it to something.
Realizing the value of the clue I quickly informed Yam, the blade coryphée. After I told him of my observation he too caught sight of the string of the puppeteer. His further developed eyes were also able to make out the strings other connections.
Apparently, the puppet somehow controlled itself through the spell circle it was building. And low and behold, after analyzing the puppet's left-hand movements I noticed the similarity between them and where the doll was pulled to.
After going over a strategy we could develop with our new insight, we quickly found a quite obvious solution. With the spell circle close to completion Yam began his sprint towards the strings swaying in the artificial breeze.
The circle's last sigils were filled in by the puppet's finger movements and the spell began to build up power. Yam had now reached the chasing party, though he approached the puppet from the opposite side.
While the main group found itself directly under the spell circle and the puppet pulled itself to the right side it quickly found its momentum did not equal its pull. Yam had cut a large part of the string that connected the puppet to the circle by waiting in the right position.
The chasing party quickly caught up with the motionless doll and readied their final blow. Though in the last second the puppet pulled one of the last strings still connected to her and the circle, illuminating the whole zone, grew to a blinding brightness.
All of the yet collected mana was released in a beam towards the earth. Even the small amount was able to produce a beam faster and more powerful than anything I had yet seen. I was immediately thrown away and could just so see the chase party being hit by the beam of light before I lost consciousness!!