The monster’s body bended the light and in the area where it should be, we saw only a faint distortion of space. Then it lunged. Fast. It didn’t care about trees in its path - splinters flew everywhere, along with the entire trunks. It wasn’t magic, or some tool cutting them down. No, only a brute strength.
Katherine was the first to react and jumped one step forward, where she suddenly met the almost invisible enemy. Its angry growl joined a painful Katherine’s moan as the attack forced her backpedal, where I caught her in my arms. This time I couldn’t enjoy her warm touch, because she gritted her teeth and darted forward again.
Mana surged all around me as Tramar and I both drew runes in the air. “Fire floor!” Tramar was the first to finish, and an area of a few feet in diameter, around the monster, caught on fire. It was a laughingly tickling fire for the monster, but it still burned and it was especially effective against an invisible enemy, like this one.
After that, it was my turn. My hands shook as I drew the runes without system’s aid, the mana dangerously danced around me, making the casting harder. Easy now, Charlie. Focus. As I was drawing sixth rune, mana around me vibrated, only a bit, as Tramar started casting another spell. Normally, I wouldn’t even register it, but at that moment I was focusing with my entire being and was sucking the mana in, creating six runes in a circle. Difficult to say the least.
The feedback forced me to manipulate mana around three runes at the same time; my breathing turned shallow, and I regretted my stubbornness. Cramps overtook my finger almost as the time when three hundred pounds Italian sat on them because of a bet. No, focus! That’s it, next time system will assist me. “Princess’ grace!”
|[Player Katherine’s strength increased by 15!]
[Player Tramar68 intelligence increased by 15!]
“Yes!” I bounced up and pumped with my fist, beaming with joy. Then I noticed a bloodied Kathrine — three wounds on her shoulder were chugging out blood like from a broken bottle. “Shatt! Sorry Kat!” Before I attended to her, I cupped my potion.
|[You have used the Agility Potion]
[Agility increased by 50]
“Chyort!” Katherine screamed as something invisible slashed across her thigh, without giving her time to respond. She stumbled to the side and swung her sword; hitting only an air.
Compared to my ultimate skill, drawing the healing runes was as easy as making a Sazerac. My fingers danced in the air, the mana flowed and faster than ever before. Just like that I drew the wavelets, despite that Tramar drained mana as well.
|[Perfect Runecraft! Healing x2 - 37HP]
My gentle light descended on my lovely friend, circled around her body, and her wounds hungerly drank it, until there was no light. Yes, I hadn’t healed her entirely, but a new energy surged in her and she grinned at the unknown enemy. At least in the direction she thought it was, and shouted, “Die!” Another whiff of her sword.
At the same time, a wave of heat formed next to me. “Fireball!” Tramar created a large ball of fire and aimed at the empty space in front of Katherine. The fire licked our enemy and a smell of burning meat almost forced me to puke. The smell was familiar, and because the enemy was using concealment, it should be that.
“Forest Blobrg! Katherine retreat!” The volume of my yell surprised even me. “We can’t win!” One of my imperial instructors revealed to me a fundamental truth of this world - never battle with a Blobrg. Once I thought I can take on level fifty Blobrg when I was around level hundred fifty. I died in a minute. We couldn’t beat it without an exploit.
Another gush of blood fled from Katherine, and she backpedaled while trying to defend. “Wut? Show yarself!” Her painful yell stung me deep in my heart as the Blobrg tore her back armor. Another blood poured out of her, while she was defending from the front.
Tramar finished another fireball, but this time the spell just whizzed around Katherine and set some trees ablaze, missing its mark. On the other hand, the part of patching Katherine up fell on my shoulders.
|[Perfect Runecraft! Healing x2 - 37HP]
“Kat, you are at level ten, right?” I asked her, still thronging through bushes and frenzingly getting back.
My questing surprised her and her sword hand froze mid swing. Not like it would hit anything, because Blobrg vanished again. “Yea, why?”
“I know about prestige class ideal for you, and I can give you one by summoning an angel. But we need to stay away from the Blobrg for at least five seconds…” My voice traced off, because of her another wound, accompanied by a painful moan. “Which is impossible.”
“I have fire sacrifice,” Tramar said and grinned at me just as we reached a rocky area with fewer trees. Not good. The Blobrg will have more empty space to maneuver.
Karine was still backing in the front, and the relentless assault of an invisible enemy took its toll. “Are you sure?” I asked him and bit my lip. Watching Katherine getting a one-sided beating in person wasn’t pleasant. It was kind of fun on her stream because she was showing her videos and we knew she survived.
“What is one small sacrifice for a friendship with you two?” This time my puzzling stare must have been obvious, because he added, “You want to call an angel and she is a ranker. Besides, I risk nothing, but an hour of my time.”
“We will come back for you,” I said with a strong resolution in my voice. It wasn’t any day a stranger was willing to take a fall for me. Actually, it was the first time. “Katherine! Stay there, we will back to a hundred feet and then he’ll swap!”
Tramar’s mouth opened on its own, and stared at me, his eyes glistering. Then he said, “How do you know?”
“No time! Now!” My scream woke him up, and he created one small rune under a second. That small thing sucked an enormous amount of mana, sucking so much I wouldn’t be able to cast anything for a second. Woah, almost like a silence spell. The flow got disrupted, and from his rune a simple line of fire connected with Katherine. In a blink if an eye they swapped places.
“I call the God of War, according to the agreement seventy four!” I yelled to no one in particular, while a ball of fire consumed Tramar and an explosion cleared at least fifteen feet around him. It faintly revealed our enemy, but it wasn’t enough to hurt it seriously.
At any time I would appreciate that confused look on Katherine’s face, but right at that moment there was no answer from heavens. Blobrg screamed when the fire burned his fur and the breeze bursting from his voice tingled my skin. And the pungent smell my nose.
“You called, I answered,” someone said behind me, in a sweet female voice.
With no time to waste, I fell to one knee while turning around and lowered my head. “My friend Katherine wants to be a glory seeker. Please erect a holy barrier around us during her consideration.”
Blobrg, still burning - so it was visible - ran towards us. With every second wasted, it threatened to come near. “You are a confirmed hero, do you guarantee Katherine?”
“Wery well.” After her wonderful words, at least hundred runes appeared around us on the ground and formed a circle. Then from it rose a red barrier.
When I was still in the imperial army, we tried to ambush an acolyte. A random quest, right? Wrong. We didn’t know he was under protection of God of War, so it was amazing to find a holy barrier. Nobody could tear it down. So, the lowly Blobrg was out of luck. Naturally, the Blobrg tried to damage it, but the barrier didn’t even flinch.
“Wut? Charlie?” Katherine dove away from the barrier, and her stare jumped from me to the angel and back. “Wat’s Glory Seeker?”
The angel was a young woman in a heavy armor, with a gigantic sword on her back. Her Silver-red armor was exactly the same as Lucy used to wear when I met her in the hell. Only a few strands of black curly hair peeked out of her helmet, along with her black-almond eyes.
Ah, before getting into angelhood, she was probably born and raised in the south, because only there I found humans with dark skin. Except for the traders. They weren’t kind to outsiders, so I had to tread carefully and most of my exploits failed. “Present your case.” Her sweet voice, though! No wonder the womanizer God made her an angel! So, his interest in pretty girls was my convincing argument here, heh.
“Katherine here reached a point in her life when she can decide on her future. I nominate her as one of the eight glory seekers. Precisely Juggernaut.”