Battle (2)
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Chapter XV: Battle (2)

After defeating the Angler, the siblings (and Tyrone) had decided to look for a way out of the place. 

"You know, I was so focused on what was happening, that I didn't even realize the rumbling and shaking of the building." 

Kenneth attributed this to the large worm-like monster they had spotted and left Lucas to deal with. Because other than that thing, he didn't feel like there were many other beasts that could cause as much havoc. 

That is, ones he didn't know of yet. But maybe certain specks of knowledge are better kept hidden until the time is right to learn about them. 

"But it seems like it's weakened a bit. Maybe Lucas has beaten it." Lena stared at the walls that were lined with cracks. They looked like they would crumble and break at any moment. 

"I wouldn't place my hopes just yet. Look, we've got more Jamming Birds." Kenneth pointed to the group of birds closing in on the building. He could already hear their distinctive and annoying squawks. 


"Yes, Tyrone. Time for more Anti-Aerial Action." 

<Entrance Of Building, Lucas POV>


After defeating the worm, Lucas was not even given a short break, as multiple hordes of smaller beasts crowded him from all angles. 

Having nowhere else to retreat to, Lucas leapt through one of the broken windows, and relied on his skills to descend to the bottom of the building. 

"I wonder if they're okay. Meh, I'm sure they are. Guess I'll just wait for them here."

Taking advantage of the quiet scenery that he had all to himself, Lucas headed to a nearby tree and rested in its shade, hoping for sleep to hit him. 

As the V.T.G was the closest thing to reality, it only made sense that its users would experience everything the same way they would feel in real life. 

One of the only things that set it apart from real life was how time went. The amount of time that passed outside the virtual reality was barely a fraction of how much passed in the V.T.G.

So if someone were to schedule a  lengthy session to train themselves, it would most likely not even be thirty minutes in the real world before their session came to a finish.

Of course, they still retained all their memories and experience. Otherwise, what would be the point of these things?

Yet what should've been a peaceful sleep for Lucas was soon interrupted by the sound of glass shattering and the indistinguishable growls in the direction of the building.

"Did they follow me all the way here? The fuck?" Lucas complained. After engaging in battle with a literal titan worm, anyone would be tired. 

But now he had an even bigger problem to deal with. 

Not even wasting time, he hastily got up from his spot in the shade and ran the opposite direction, away from the growls.


<20th Floor, Kenneth POV>


After a long (but exciting) fight with the Jamming Birds using Tyrone as a Anti-Aerial cannon, the siblings all laid down on what was left of the partly-demolished building. 

The stairs that led to the lower floors had been broken off during the battle. 

Right as the earthquake was subsiding, a single fierce aftershock rumbled throughout the area, taking one of the only ways for the siblings' to evacuate the building. 

But by some unforeseen luck, the stairs leading to the upper floors were barely untouched. It was as if the world wanted them to keep going higher.

"I'll take this as a signal and just keep going to the top. I'm not too sure what we'll find there, but hey, there's nowhere else to go." 

"I'm with you. The building might collapse very soon, so hopefully, we find something." 


<City Streets, Lucas POV>


"I'm not one to hide from battles, but even I don't think I can handle that many." 

The moment Lucas heard the growls coming from the building, he instantly bolted, not caring for whatever way he was going. 

He ran through the streets, used the dark alleyways as cover, and even hid inside empty dumpsters in an effort to get the pursuing beasts off his trail. 

But to his surprise, the beasts were always within close proximity of him. It didn't matter what he did, they would always somehow detect him and begin the chase once again.

It had gone to the point that Lucas believed the beasts to possess some sort of heat-vision or super-enhanced senses. 

The latter would be more likely, of course. But even still, the whole group of beasts having this much power? Lucas couldn't imagine what would happen if he was to charge in blindly, even if his nature was telling him to do so. 

"Think, Lucas, think! How do they know?!" Once again turning into a dark alley, Lucas bravely made through the unseen corridor and made way for the ladder on the side of the building. 

He figured obtaining a vantage point over a part of the city would give him some ideas as to what to do next.

While he may not have had a sensory enhancement spell, having near three-hundred-sixty degree vision would prove to be more than enough to gather information on the pursuing horde. 

"There they are. As the old geezers have told me, I should note down what the horde consists of." 

It was at times like this that Lucas threw away his battle-hungry nature and opted to go for a more planned approach.

His survival instinct took over the reins and pushed over his warmonger side onto the passenger's seat. 

Lucas might've not looked like it, but he wasn't only composed of a brutish fighter. Part of him could be said to hold an "inquisitive" type. 

Today was one of the rare few days that Lucas would let his other side take over in order to win. 

"Right… over there. A group of Manticores, some more Wolves, a Night Hawk…" Lucas began counting the monsters individually with his fingers. 

For some of the monsters, Lucas was unable to list down their exact species. This is because certain breeds or mutations of magical beasts may have been present. 

For these mutations, different methods are required to take them down. Knowing their general family line was enough for some adventurers, but being able to pinpoint their traits just from sight alone could lead to one's victory. 

"So far, there's only one Night Hawk. Or there might be more, it's too dark out." 

As night had already descended upon the city, the sky was painted with a hue of black. The shimmering stars had helped Lucas greatly in spotting the Night Hawk.

"Could that be the reason as to why they keep finding me so easily?" 

Just then, sounds of buzzing began to resound throughout Lucas' head. It was almost as annoying as a fly but was even louder. 

But after the buzzing, Lucas heard a familiar voice, and it was from someone he didn't expect to hear from so soon.

"Testing, testing. Lucas, you hear me?"

"Well, shit. You guys okay over there?" 

"Yeah, we got my body back. Where are you, anyway? The signal's getting pretty weak. Did you go somewhere far?"

"Don't worry about it. I've got a horde following me, but I think I can handle it."


"I've got this under control." Lucas seemed keen on not letting Kenneth interfere with his prey. 

Kenneth, naturally understanding his brother's feelings, decided on another way to help without interrupting their battle. 

"I'm trusting you, then. I'll just use a few of my spells. Uh, but don't worry. They don't affect the beasts." 

"I'm fine with that. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some prey to hunt."

Now given permission to assist without interfering majorly, Kenneth cast his Mental Analysis, opting to gather as much information as possible in a short period of time.

Feral Manticore

Danger Level: Low-Mid

Power Potential: Low

Spells: N/A

Additional Information: A variant of the “Manticore” family. This Manticore has evolved to rely only on its body. Despite being a magical beast, the Manticore never, if rarely, ever uses spells. 


“Reminds me of you, Lucas.” 

“Huh? What part of that thing is similar to me?

“Did you not receive the information? Anyway, its just that it tells me the Manticore relies on physical strength to get stuff done. If you think about it, that’s basically you, but as a monster.”

“I still don’t see the similarity.” 

Kenneth received more bits of information, relaying the important parts to Lucas in order to assist in his observation more. But as there was only one real threat to his brother, Kenneth shifted his view to the Night Hawk in the sky. 

“I’ve read about these things. Their feathers are supposedly almost the same shade of black as the night sky, making it hard to even see them. Even right now, I can barely spot the one flying past the streetlight.” Kenneth had to squint his eyes to even see the Hawk moving. 


Outrider Night Hawk

Danger Level: Mid

Power Potential: Low

Spells: Conceal

             Enhance Vision 

             Dark Manipulation

Additional Information: A variant of the “Hawk” family, possessing heightened senses and is capable of camouflaging itself to blend into the night sky. Yet even with these traits, the Outriders are barely a threat to parties if killed quickly. 


“Did you get all that, Lucas?”

“Yeah. I guess I’ll think up a way to kill the Night Hawk first. It's going to be hard though. Even if I use my spells, I’m not confident in reaching the bird.”

Having reviewed the information he obtained, Lucas peaked out from his spot behind the air duct on the roof and spotted the horde on the opposite side of the road facing the building. 

Based on Kenneth’s calculations, the horde would’ve most likely reached him in a minute or two. Thus not wasting any time, Lucas leaped onto another similarly structured building, using his eyes to scout out any beasts closing in. 

One particular group of beasts was nearing his spot. Lucas figured that they could easily climb and scale the sides of the building, and would leave him no place to retreat. 

Ripping off a part of the railing, Lucas gathered his strength into his arm, using a bit of mana to aid in the destructive power. Bringing the metal pole behind him, he slammed his foot and at the same time threw the pole with all his strength. 

The pole, which perfectly absorbed Lucas’ strength, shot through the sky, making its way above the clouds and further beyond. For a second Kenneth contemplated the reason behind Lucas putting an excessive amount of force behind the throw, but he soon shut his mouth when he found the pole descending back down at an astonishing speed. 

It was almost as if it was perfectly calculated. The pole, making its way closer to the city, landed perfectly in between the group of beasts, causing a loud blast to reverberate throughout the entire area. 

A while passed before the dust finally started subsiding. But when it did, Kenneth was astounded to find the original group of beasts was gone! 

They were literally gone! No trace whatsoever, no parts were scattered, and no blood was splattered. What was left of the road was just a large chasm that seemed like it dug all the way to the earth’s core. 

“That was… unnecessary, no?” Left shocked for words, Kenneth turned to his brother, his mouth still agape in shock. 

Kenneth knew his brother was high above the norm when it came to strength, but it seemed like he had underestimated him. His high expectations were shattered as his brother’s toughness threatened to outline him as the world’s strongest man. 

But Lucas himself seemed unbothered by all this. Perhaps this was an attempt to act calm and collected, but Kenneth figured even atomic bomb scientists would be left perplexed at the amount of damage Lucas caused with that single attack. 

“Come on, we’ve got some more beasts to hunt.” Lucas set his sights on the Night Hawk that was fluttering its wings wildly on the horizon, appearing dumbfounded from his attack. 


The majority of the night passed by with Lucas using his position to his advantage to launch multiple unfair attacks on the encompassing horde. It didn’t matter where he went; there would always be another mass of beasts making its way towards him, which he would always take care of the moment he saw them. If his “Death From Above” (Kenneth wanted to call it so, much to Lucas’ dismay) didn’t work, then he’d jump down from his spot and personally beat down the remaining stragglers. 

The monsters had somehow learned to adapt to this and would station multiple beasts in dark alleyways and behind certain buildings in order to ambush him. 

Of course, with Kenneth’s extreme sensitivity to mana and heightened senses, he was able to identify the threat before it even struck, allowing Lucas to finish off almost all of the beasts with no issue the whole way. 

But even after the one-sided slaughter, there still stood one eyesore in front of him. It was otherwise known as an Outrider Night Hawk. The pesky bird would launch balls of darkness at Lucas. It wasn’t much of a problem due to Kenneth being able to detect the attack, but the number of times the bird did it made it all the more annoying. 

“That fuck- I swear the moment I find a way to kill that bird, I’m personally pummeling its body to a pulp.” Lucas fumed, swatting away the ball of darkness shot by the bird. 

“You’re right. Even if it’s seen that it won’t work multiple times, it doesn’t seem like it has any intention of stopping. But I think it’ll retreat the moment sunlight strikes.”

“Really? That wasn’t in the Profile.” Lucas began recalling the information sent to him by Kenneth hours ago.

The siblings had made an unspoken promise to call the information they received about the beasts Kenneth analyzed “Profiles.” 

“I don’t know. It just makes sense to me.” In truth, Kenneth thought about it the moment he saw that the Bird had “Dark Manipulation.” 

As the night reached its peak, Kenneth realized that the Hawk’s attacks were getting fiercer. This could’ve been attributed to the fact that when it gets dark, the mana in the air shifts to dark-related elements. 

Kenneth’s theory only ever so seemed more like reality the moment he saw the Hawk’s attacks weakening and the time between spells lasting longer. 

“We’ve got nothing else better to do, no?” Lucas hid behind a wall and laid his tired body on its rough surface. In his eyes, as long as the bird wasn’t constantly irritating him with its futile attacks, all was good. “Anyway, where are Lena and Tyrone?”

“Oh, the moment we defeated the beast guarding my body, I activated my Link. My last memories were of us still inside the building, so maybe they’ve already found a way-”

“Watch your head, Lucas.” A soft voice interrupted Kenneth. 

Hearing the warning, Lucas ducked, just as an arc of light made its way through his original head’s position. 

“Lena? How’d you guys find us?” A bit unnerved from the sudden attack, Lucas blurted out a short sentence. 

“We’ve been chasing you guys the whole way, you know?! How did you two not notice us?” Lena’s voice seethed with anger. It may have been said to Lucas, but Kenneth knew it was directed to him.