31. A muddy fight
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Author's note:

Hi! A reader asked me if there will be a fight and more blue-boxes. Well, there you go! ^^


It turned out that Wulves were almost like gray wolves’, but not quite the same. Instead of rolling in the mud, they bathed in a blood, so their crimson colored fur reflected the moons light in a strange, almost dazzling way. Katherine equipped her sword along with a shield, and jumped down into the night with a scream, “Come at ma!”

[Wulf Lv.10]
Type: 1-common | HP: 173/173

A gust of wind blew into my face and brought a strange smell of blood - we weren’t the first victims they targeted tonight. Not wanting to be ashamed, I followed her example, willed the shield to unfurl from my bracelet and gripped the handle of my whip. Three Wulves in front of us growled with their teeth bared, trying to get our attention, but I could hear at least two more behind us.

System cast Princess’ grace - boost stats.

There was no time for learning the runes myself, or bashing myself to the head because I didn’t practise the inherent skill. No, I asked the system to cast it for me. I felt slight tugging in my hand, and when I let system to take over, I started creating six runes in air in a circle. No way I could do this on my first try. Wulves didn’t wait for my spell and lunged towards Katherine, but she quickly back-stepped - two missed and her shield covered the third’s attack with a loud thud.

When the system finished drawing runes, I pushed mana into it and shouted, “Princess’ grace!” The entire circle of runes blazed in blue light and the energy surged towards the only ally I saw - Katherine.

[Player Katherine’s strength increased by 15!]

Jumping down, my feet met with a muddy ground, burring into it a bit. There was no time to be delicate, so I plunged to right, when I felt a breath on the back of my neck. My maneuver sent the slippery mud flying all around me, and a wulf’s crimson fur brushed over my arm as he missed and it crashed headfirst into the mud. My next step was obvious - I needed speed!

[You have used the Agility Potion]
[Agility increased by 50]

Because the others corrected their positioning all around me, I had to act fast and find Katherine. I couldn’t afford to take my eyes off the enemy, but I didn’t have to find her - a wulf’s whimper from right revealed her position. With a quick swing with my whip at the wulf between us, I cleared a way and sprinted a few steps. “Kat, hold ‘em! Casting!” I yelled at her and touched her back with mine.

Now I didn’t want any help from system and wrote Ice dance runes myself. At least that was my intention, but the wulves had other plans for our fight - death. The first one swapped its paw at my side, and I could cover it with my shield. But they were clever and a second one plunged at me from the other side with a growl full of saliva, which was dripping to his snout and down to the grass. Sadly, I saw him too late. The wulf’s paw tore my robe at the left side and left a nasty bloody scar.

[You lost 10 HP.]

Despite that, I didn’t waver and finished drawing all runes. On my first try. “Ice Dance, bastards!” I shouted and powered the runes. A blinding blue light cut through the night, followed by a slight cracking as everything got covered in frost. Except Katherine. “Wau Charlie!” That was everything she could say before at least four wulves continued in their onslaught.

“Kat, jump right!” I ordered and jumped left. She didn’t question my order and skittered nimbly in the same direction. “Attack two hours,” I said after I stabilized my footing and raised my shield. Two wulves missed because of our maneuver, but their friends snapped at us from all directions.

Katherine listened to me, and I heard a sad whimper as she slashed at our enemy. Maybe because they thought I was an easier target, two of them attacked me. Again from left and right side, so I couldn’t defend from both! While placing a shield in the way of the left one, I slashed my whip and scored a critical AP hit into second’s eyes!

[Block successful. Mitigated amount of damage: 4, other damage halved. Suffered amount: 3]
[You lost 11 HP.]
[Critical hit! Armor pierced. Target lost 30HP (6x2 normal + 9x2 ICE damage)]

System, stop notices, I can’t focus! Despite my successful hit, the stupid wulf still snapped at my shoulder and forced a lot of my blood out! Wincing at the pain, I instinctively jumped back. That was a mistake, because there was waiting yet another wulf, which plunged forward. The powerful move threw a lot of mud all around and its jaw bit deep into my calf. Another sharp pain ran up on my leg, and I had to slash at him with my whip, even though it wasn’t the best solution.

Okay, time to stop playing around! “Kat, pull!” I shouted. Without waiting for confirmation, I sprinted from her as much as I could with my injured leg. Three wulves separated from the group and tried to intercept me, their red eyes fixed on me. This wasn’t a random attack, that was for sure, and the only question was - who was their master? I glanced around the field, even at the small woodland south of us, but it was still dark and if there was someone hiding, I couldn’t see them.

Katherine raised her sword up and shouted, “Basterds! I’m your enemy!” She used a warrior’s own chant, the one I ignored because I wasn’t playing in a group. Silver thin lines shot from her sword and enveloped all wulves around her, including the ones trying to hit me. When she slashed with the sword down, it pulled them towards her. Some of them crashed into her shield or armor and fell down, dazzled.

Now was my time to help - faint outlines of runes appeared in the air as fast as I moved my staff. The practice with hard runes of Ice Dance and others helped me to nail this simple one. “Group Healing!”

[Perfect Runecraft! Healing x2 - 30HP]

After my gently light restored our hit points almost to the max, I glanced around again and tried to guess where I would hide if I was the one attacking. The only logical hiding place was the few trees in the south. It didn’t matter even if I flushed them out - we needed to show our strength before trying to parley. “Focus at 10 hours, the one with wounded eye.”

Katherine grinned madly, uttering an undecipherable roar and slashed with all strength down at its head. “Kat!” I yelled in panic because she forgot about her pull! Three wulves tasted her sexy body, but she ignored them as if they were only mosquitoes.

Damn girl! Instead of attacking that stupid dog, I created rune of healing and raised her hit points back. It was a short-lived, because they continued their relentless attack! I could swear I heard their growl turned into a happy one, as they could just attack without reservations.

“Katherine!” Now I pleaded, because my mana was going down fast; I couldn’t heal her like that. “Wake up! Defend!” She ignored my voice and destroyed the poor wulf with a mighty swing of her sword. The wulf collapsed to the ground, which was covered in its blood, but then its body vanished in a puff of pinkish smoke. Yeah, this wasn’t a natural wulf.

Only after that she finally raised her shield to defend from the other wulves, and looked at me with pleading eyes, “Sorry.” Instead of blaming her, I swung my whip at another wulf and tore a chunk of blood and meat from its back. Armor piercing weapon is awesome.

 

Our fight was a desperate one, but we held our ground and defeated one wulf after another. Between my whip and Katherine’s sword, the stupid wulves met their end. When I counted we killed about half of them, I glanced towards the trees and shouted, “Hey, you there! Recall your wulves if you don’t want to lose them! Come here and tell us why are we fighting!”

Katherine’s surprise found its way to her face, where she forgot to close her mouth, and she froze midpoint of swinging her sword, which the stupid wulves took advantage of. Before I could react and move to help her, our enemy stopped as well and started moving back, still baring their teeth at us, but not attacking.

“Very well girls, let’s talk,” a female voice said from the direction I guessed. One point for Charlie! The woman walked slowly and stopped at least twenty feet from us, with both moons behind her, illuminating her hide armor. That meant we couldn’t see her face, but that wasn’t necessary - identification worked on her. “Your employer is long gone, isn’t he?”

[Bandit Leader Lv.13]
Type: 3-rare | HP: 246/246

At her prompt I looked back at the road and she was right at one thing - that stupid man wasn’t there. Katherine was the one who stepped up and said, “Workin’? No way! Only hitched ride to dungeon. Wouldn’t say no to slain’ ya tho!” To add more weight to her words Katherine swung her sword and got rid of blood still stuck on it, staining the Bandit Leader with blood of her own wulves.

For a long moment she was only blankly staring at Katherine, but then she grinned, lifted her staff and said, “Same. Wulves get ‘em!”

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