Wuxiaworld > A New Dawn > 105 ... only to be a mirage.

105 ... only to be a mirage.

The impact of the death of both Seron and the elites accompanying him was far more important than what the local guards already experienced a few hours ago. Indeed, in the previous situation, numerous locations were still strong, capable of holding back the undead until dawn and ever later. It was most of the time the result of a powerful group of either mercenaries or adventurers, replacing a few guards by themselves. Even if it was not to the extent of Meridiana and her companion, their strength was significant enough to impact the battlefield.

As a central figure, Seron was the beacon of all the fighters and was even more important for the guards. The countless rotations of fighters were made to always see him, even if it was for a brief moment and most of the time, from afar. If it was truly not possible, one of those previously guarding the Guild Master would act, to ignite the spirits of those that were crumbling under the pressure. This battle was destined to be won by the moral of the living since nothing else was on their side.

Without anyone to rally them after the initial panic, since even the few officers that witnessed this also ran, frightened, the entire position of the City Hall turned defenseless. This gap was proven to be extremely deadly since no one could stop those desperately trying to flee and ask what happened. In that sea of screams and cries, only one man was still not moving. Glaring at them from the roof of a house nearby, he could only lament inwardly. Finally, he sat down and began to toy a bit the strange device that was near his legs. The black and metallic octahedra that should have been their hope was reduced to being useless.

"What is the point of a bomb, if we can't use it properly?" Usually, the finest product of the White Hand was highly sought, because of its incredible capability at dealing with large threats. One was used in the North to wipe out an entire tribe of goblins inside their very own lair. And it was not a little one, but a more or less trustworthy account reported at least 2 thousands of head in that tribe. All reduced to rotten meat thanks to just one bomb. Even if it was barely a year ago, this was not the most important deed that those devices provoked.

Unfortunately, because the humans, the elves or the dwarves that used them were on the smartest side, they accomplished miracles. But the crude reality was still that everything besides their own power was an external force, proved by the death of Seron. They didn't have a single magus in Archet, only a few magicians of the 4th Circle that belonged to the Guild of the Adventurers. With a true magus in bones and flesh, they wouldn't have been so scared of the liches and so adamant at trying everything to kill just one.

Those terrible undead were born with knowledge about magic vastly superior to any other races besides the dragons and the vampires. This was a true enigma for the rest of the world, how they all acquired that ease at manipulating mana. But, from a general consensus, a lich would be capable of reaching the 5th Circle in a few years after being born. Some were even more powerful after being created, but because it was quite hard to track it, the 5th Circle was the initial estimate. A vampire would be barely weaker in term of magic while the race and parents of the newly born dragon would have to be considered to make a judgment. Any other races couldn't assure with a 100% of certainty that it could awaken his potential.

This was proven when the liches began to create gigantic skeletons and were capable of freezing vast surface times and times again. All while maintaining the vast army that was slashing down the fleeing guards in the streets. Funnily enough, from the point of view of the Guild Master, he was completely ignored. By now, he could no longer see anything else but skeletons around him. Not even one of them raised their heads to see if someone was above. If it wasn't so grim for him, he would have laughed at that sight. To realize that just being a few meters above the ground would protect him.

Of course, that was only because the liches were not paying attention to a lone man. If they found the city empty, they would logically search everywhere, including the ceilings, basements, and roofs. By then, the hidden citizens would be slaughtered, but at the current time, the Guild Master was safe. Absently rotating the black bomb in his hands, he could only appreciate his last moments in relative peace.

Klik Klak Klonk Klyk

The sound of bones shattering and being crushed was getting closer and closer. Raising his head, the man lost in the ocean of bones managed to spot the two armors that were moving toward him. The already clumsy undead appeared to be immobile objects in front of Meridiana and Davion like they were not threatening at all. He could see the two continuing to destroy skeletons after skeletons, paving their way of crushed bones and white dust. "What are they doing here?"

There could be only one reason, destroy a lich. But it was pure folly, complete madness. Brave men had already sacrificed themselves, for nothing. If they also lost the two pillars that were the only hope of even one human surviving, Archet would irremediably fall. Not that it wouldn't otherwise, just with fewer casualties. In this mindset, the Guild Master was beginning to stand up to shout them to retreat when he finally noticed something weird.

The skeletons were not actively attacking them. From afar, it was truly not obvious and it explained why he didn't see it at first. But as the two kept getting closer and closer, he saw that they were only killing a few skeletons there and there. Every swing of their weapons was large and magnificent, but the actual damages were too little, even pitiful. Some undead weren't even destroyed, just merely knocked down for a brief moment. And when he saw the two liches approaching peacefully, his heart broke down.

Not even in his wildest nightmare would he have imagined that the two saviors of the city were actually colluding with the undead. He was so shocked that he didn't even hear what was first said and had to focus his mind. Not that it was hard, since the sea of skeletons was quite silent, besides the bones knocking on themselves.

"... hard, but they did put a lot of effort into it. Especially those reinforcements, we hadn't heard about it all." The usually warm and caring voice of Meridiana was now colder than the heart of the undead. Like she didn't care at all about the corpses that were at her feet or everyone else that died fighting.

"All I can say is that the ghouls are still alive, meaning that they were a bit far from Archet. You still have the time to save the day and kill a lich. Now, let's talk more about what you need; how many skeletons have to die? Two thirds and the zombies will begin to appear or even more?" Shockingly, it was not one of the liches that were talking but a small inconspicuous skeleton near them. Nothing was different between him and any other skeleton, but the way he talked and gestured while speaking was weird. He was clearly on the same level as Meridiana, but his appearance did not match.

The Guild Master was now confident that this entire thing was just a massive ploy. He was not certain about all the ramifications, but Archet was visibly only the first step. Otherwise, they wouldn't be so carefree and discussing leisurely in the middle of a plaza tainted by blood. His sorrow and fear were gradually turning into anger and hate, knowing that he was played like a toddler. Everyone that died, only because those strangers decided it?

"... well, do it that way. Concerning the mountains, everything is cleared on that part, they are both here?" It was the first time the adventurer saw Meridiana a bit worried. Whoever was in the "they" she pronounced, they were important.

"Yes, so whatever happens, unless you manage to wake up the only thing capable of killing us all, you will be fine. I mean, except being overconfident like that rabid dog, there is no way any of us should suffer any injuries." From his tone, the feeble and weak skeleton was extremely proud. Even if he understood some bits of information, there were a lot of dark areas. Like the fact that they were scared of something but what could that be?

Right after hearing this, he saw one of the two liches extending its neck in front of Davion, that used his hand to crush it. Instantly after that, a subtle riptide inside the white sea spread far and wide, disrupting the undead. Some were only mildly shaken and even lost their balance, while others simply crumbled and had their limbs detaching from the main body. The majority belonged to the last group, meaning for those that weren't him, they would be extremely hopeful.

Unfortunately, this sight that should have brought him joy and relief only worsen his mood. That meant they had the powers and the means to do whatever they wanted inside the Republic of Avenio and feared nothing. Otherwise, they wouldn't have decided arbitrarily on the number of undead to destroy, just to make things more interesting. This was not the end however, far from it.

Gwaaargh Bwwwaaargh Baaarh Boooooooarw

The gruesome sounds of zombies were getting louder and louder. That terrifying sight, of a family with their little girl in their arms, completely beheaded was shocking even from him. It was certain that many were guards, some still wearing their leather outfits that were under their armor. But others were just unlucky citizens or the forgotten outlaws from the northern area. Whether it was their eyes gouged out, or their elbows broken, to have their kneecaps split, and their body burned away. Also, maybe some limbs were all hacked and mangled. Anyone would bravely run away seeing this, especially in the current state of mind the fighters currently were in.

They were, however, not smarter in any way compared to the skeletons. The Guild Master was still not noticed from his hiding spot, not daring to expose his head. The moment he saw Meridiana and Davion meeting with the skeleton, he lowered his body to the maximum. Otherwise, he would have probably been noticed and therefore, killed.

But his potential of surviving was practically nonexistent. Even he knew that. He would have to bypass without being seen all the undead currently roaming inside Archet, without knowing their positions or what they were. If he could probably fool a few zombies, he couldn't do that against hundreds of them or even a single ghoul. Since the moment he is seen, the lich will not spare anything before he was silenced forever.

Still manipulating the black device, he only had in mind a crazy idea that was absolutely not normal for him. But that was something that Seron would have approved or even done if he was in his shoes. If he could just make them feel a tenth of what they had felt, it would be worth. And when his soul will leave his body, he would not regret if he could bring a few additional with him.

They were still chatting and were getting closer to his position. A few more meters and he will be able to reach them in less than 3 seconds. It was a long period for him, but he couldn't afford to lose the effect of surprise. If he was discovered beforehand, even if he was 1 meter away, would be too far for him.

"Hold your breath next time." Those words froze his heart as he was jumping out of the roof. There was a trace of jeering in the voice of Meridiana, but he still didn't care. Dashing with the bomb in his hand, he tried to get closer and closer but no matter what he tried the distance was still the same.

From the outside, the Guild Master would have looked like someone running still. He was in fact trapped in an illusion created by Meridiana. Because they were still a bit afraid by something that caused Kardel to suffer that much, they were reluctant at utilizing a spell capable of activating the bomb.

However, targeting the mind of a perturbed individual that was clearly losing his mind was child's play for a succubus. Right after they had first talked with Malakov, she had spread her senses and detected the human. Because it was not logical for just one to be alive, they had baited a reaction and from the looks of it, he was truly alone.

"So it was him, that's good he was meant to die anyway. We are now just missing the Mayor and we will be good, we just don't know where he is. Malakov, warn us if you find him. In the meantime, let me take a look at the bom..."


Davion grabbed the succubus and the lich, pulling them far away from the explosion. Whether it was from despair or something else, but the Guild Master had unleashed the myriads of spells contained in the metallic device without getting closer. His body and the one which Malakov took control were melting in front of their eyes. A green mist was propagating itself in the surrounding, causing numerous buildings to lose their walls and be destroyed. All the corpses and pieces of bones were also wiped out, and a hole toward the sewers appeared in the middle of the street.

Facing this, none of the two could dare to say they would survive. Just when they thought it was over, they had to flee once more. A torch that was still burning came in contact with the mist, causing another explosion. That part of the city was in rumbles, nobody could recognize it anymore. The City Hall that was nearby was turned into a ruin, something that they originally didn't want. They didn't want to lose time at rebuilding a city, but from the looks of it, they will have to.

"Thank you Davion, I hadn't expected him to be so fast at igniting the bomb. One more second, and we could have to get it for free. It's a shame."

"Talk for you, I was lucky to escape in time. Do you have any idea how painful it is to lose a part of your soul?" A skeleton appeared from nowhere and began to complain. Meridiana could only roll her eyes hearing this, she had heard from others it was really not painful at all. It just provoked a feeling of weakness for a certain period of time, but there was no pain associated. But because she didn't want to hear anything else, she left, not forgetting the head of the lich in her hands.

Their arrival provoked an extreme reaction from the fighters. Coupled with the reduced number of undead, they were confident that they would last until dawn. As for the explosion, none bothered them for the moment. A few smart officers linked that with the remaining bomb and guessed that with the help of the Guild Master, they had brought down one of those monsters. As for the disappearance of that man, they could only pray for his soul.

Even against the zombies that were constantly arriving, they still managed to hold longly enough. It was not without his toll on the living, and the ratio of injured and alive was growing. The diseases and unholy blood that was stored inside the zombie caused a lot of issues, and the few priests were powerless against it. The reserve of medicines was extremely low because they were not transported when they hastily retreated for the first time and gave up the ramparts. So when a horn resonated in the West, everyone could finally smile once more. For help had arrived.