The carbonized corpses of the Infernal Seagulls fell down to the ground. The heat unleashed by the flames turned the sky to crimson. The long trail of fires Helial had generated transformed the heavenly valley in a hell on earth. Meanwhile, Vlad was snoring undisturbed. The whole situation didn't seem to concern him.
Circe's cousin wasn't the least upset by the thought a Seagull could thrust its beak into his chest and let him die at any second.
Snowflake was in alert and ready to fight any other incoming Seagull. From time to time he would cast a glance to Helial, whose face had turned pale.
The cyclone generated through Flame of the Qilin really did come at a high price. Helial quickly did his math. He realized he only had two thirds of his Mental Energy left.
If he had kept employing it like that, he would have fainted. He couldn't afford to deplete his Mental Energy to zero. Mental Energy was, after all, an alternative Stamina form; even though he still had enough points to create two other cyclones, Helial was well aware that he could only bear as much as one more. If he had pushed as far as two, he would have lost consciousness. He gritted his teeth. If other two packs like the first one arrived, he couldn't face them all. They would need to melee-fight. Helial began to pray no other pack lived in the surroundings.
Lulu was firmly clutching the staff she casted her Skills with. She was slightly trembling. Not far, Frankenstein paid her no attention as a gleam of folly flashed across his eyes. There seemed to be nothing but battle to him. He almost looked sorry for all those dead Seagulls he hadn't had the chance to test his Skills on.
As the flames devoured the valley and the smoke took away the breath of Helial and his friends, new packs of Infernal Seagulls glided through the sky towards them. They swiftly rippled out the shroud of smoke which made for a natural barrier.
Helial didn't pick up Curse of the Demon. He was focused on testing his limit. He melee-faced the first Seagull to reach their formation.
He punched the Seagull with his full force, making the air whistle.
The punch hit against the beak of the Seagull.
The eyes of the seagull shot open as Helial's punch blew tits beak to pieces. Next second, its head exploded.
Seagulls really posed a threat to common people, but Helial had an ancestral build out of legends. A Qilin not yet in the First Phase could have easily burnt that Dungeon down. Or rather, Qilins would haven't even wasted their time erasing a lesser race like that of Seagulls.
Helial had just showcased yet another terrifying Skill. Though he didn't seem the least satisfied. Two other Seagulls appeared soon enough, one on his right and one on his left. Helial twisted his body as he turned his back on one and punched at the other.
He needed to test his body resilience to those attacks. He would have never dared tried such a dangerous manoeuvre against different monsters. Since he was the MT though, he needed to make sure his defence was high enough to guarantee everyone's survival.
(NdA/MT stands for Main Tank. In video games, the Main Tank is the team member who receives most attacks so as to let the Classes with little defence yet high attack to fight freely without risking their life.)
The seagull in front of Helial blasted away in a blood cloud as the other hit against his back.
The beak of the Seagull pierced Helial's clothes and nothing more, as if it had hit a barrel of steel. It merely left a reddish mark on Helial's skin.
Plop Plop Plop
Helial turned around. With joined hands, he struck a blow at the head of another Seagull, whose explosion drenched his clothes in blood. After a couple of exchanges of blows, Helial was already covered in blood. The blood was dripping down his tunic in an unceasing blood torrent.
"Lumia! Raise a barrier to protect yourself and Lulu. Frankenstein will kill the Seagulls darting towards you. Snowflake will fight those on this side, with me. Vlad will fight those on the other side!"
They all nodded to Helial's order. In such a desperate situation, only those who had it enough of this life could really afford disobeying.
And yet Vlad showed no intention to get up. He slept undisturbed as if nothing were going on around him.
Helial lost his temper yet tried not to lose concentration. Lumia furrowed her eyebrows at Vlad's inertia. He didn't care at all about his own life. She began to believe Circe just told them to take him with them to make things harder.
Lumia snarled icily as she took a step forward.
"I'll do it. Lulu will cast Heals, the others don't need my barriers," Lumia said casually.
Helial stared at his sister. She really was growing too fast. For an instant, he didn't know what to say.
"Lumia…" Helial said in a concerned voice.
"I have Skills to defend myself with. Don't worry, big bro. If you like, you can recompense me later by kissing me in front of that slut you happen to be engaged with," Lumia smiled maliciously.
Helial cast her a desperate look as he said: "One kiss on the cheek. Fine."
Lumia shrugged: "On the lips. With a little tongue also."
Having said this, Lumia ignored Helial's reaction, which namely was staring blankly at her. Their brother and sister relationship was getting weirder with every passing day. Before arriving in Orma, Lumia had seldom showed such confidence. Despite having long known his sister's feelings for him, Helial never really knew how to reply.
Lumia's light green eyes glistened up due to the amount of Mana flowing through her Meridians. Her hair began to flutter despite there being no gust of wind. With the flame-engulfed valley as the most apocalyptic scenery, Lumia gazed intently at the Seagulls dashing towards her.
One, two… seven, Lumia counted.
The ground began to shake as if under the force of an incoming earthquake.
Divine Gravitational Field
Knowledge Grade: Total Control
You can now dispose of an earthly gravitational field.
Cost: it varies with the pressure exerted by the gravitational field.
Earth control is world control.
The Seagulls suddenly seemed to change their flight trajectory. Their faces betrayed utter terror. It didn't look as if they were acting intentionally. Next second, they clashed against the ground where a bunch of seconds before had appeared a trail of stark rocks. Their fluffy bodies ended up impaled. Unfortunately for them, only their beak was as tough as steel. Their body was by far weaker than that of many creatures in the Second Phase.
Lumia raised her thumb towards Helial. She had shed no bead of sweat.
Two other packs of Seagull appeared in the distance. One in front of Frankenstein, who promptly turned them to ashes in a flamboyant explosion, and one in front of Snowflake. The huge white-furred cat dissolved in a flash. When he reappeared, all Seagulls were headless.
As Helial looked about himself, through Perception he took notice of a number of Seagulls flying from afar. After a closer inspection, his expression turned dark. Another pack. This time bigger.
The Infernal Seagulls' eyes sparkled with hatred towards the invaders of their homeland. They ignored the flames and dived at breakneck speed towards the group with no intention of letting any member survive.
One of the Seagulls caught sight of Vlad on top of the tree. It suddenly darted towards him.
Helial took notice, but thought it best not to interpose. Vlad must take care of himself alone. They had all made unbelievable progress in order to be an active part of the group rather than an hindrance. He would make no exception. The situation was already miserable; they couldn't afford to look after someone who wouldn't lift a finger for laziness.
Helial violently screamed. The whole terrifying power of Flame of the Qilin was unleashed. It blasted through the sky unrivalled.
A flaming tornado bigger than the previous one devastated the land as Helial turned even paler. Before the tornado hit the Seagulls, Helial knelt down and spat out a mouthful of blood. The magnitude of that last attack pushed him over the limit. It felt like a blade was piercing his skull. In order to generate the tornado and take such control over it as to lead him far from his friends, the amount of control needed was insane. Helial was still in the First Phase Intermediate stage. For how huge it might be, an elephant can never survive the attack of a million carnivore ants.
The Seagulls were fully exploiting their numeric advantage as well as their unconcern for their lives to suppress the group.
Like the other, this pack was quickly pushed back. Every party member dealt with the remaining ones. Each of them had a huge pressure on their shoulders.
Snowflake and Frankenstein were already injured. Lulu was casting her Heal Skill on whoever got wounded. She was doing her utmost to employ the proper for every situation. Despite her contribution being useful to each of her friends, a frustrated gaze hung on Lulu's face; the frustration of those who wield no sword.
Ever more Seagulls arrived though. Helial couldn't but clutch Curse of the Demon and mow down more than a Seagull at a time. He couldn't afford to go al lout again.
At a certain point, he recalled the Infernal Seagull which had darted towards Vlad. He immediately turned towards him frightened by the idea he could have been killed. He should have told his cousin how the simplest Dungeon turned into the worst of cemeteries due to a fart. Helial would need to carry back home a pretty big piece of his body in order to bring him back to life. he couldn't risk being evirated by his stunning girlfriend.
His worries though were unnecessary. Vlad was still sleeping as if nothing had happened. The only difference was he had turned on the other side. Helial furrowed his eyebrows as he caught sight of a Seagull thrusted by an arrow. Its body was lodged on a tree not far from there.
Without paying no further mind to that damned deadweight, Helial turned towards the incoming Seagulls once again. Suddenly, some terrible feeling punched at his stomach.
He gazed afar in the distance. There was gliding another pack. Bigger than the first two. Far bigger. It was ten time as much as those. It counted thousands of infernal Seagulls.
Everyone stared blankly in shock at the attack Helial had just delivered. They couldn't have imagined Helial would turn out to have such a powerful blow up his sleeve– or rather, everyone but Lumia. She knew her brother's capabilities weren't but boundless. Her blind faith in Helial was some sort of reverential bigotry. As the most faithful acolyte of a divine creature, there was nothing Lumia wouldn't have done for her brother. The eyes of the silvery-haired girl sparkled with a never-ending worship for her brother.