Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

985. Not the face!

985. Not the face!

---Emerald City---

An angry swarm of bats rushed through the streets and decimated groups of goons, while an anthropomorphic wolf was jumping between the tall buildings, firing arrows at a woman who was hot on her heels. The woman in question was wearing exotic clothing and using a weird pair of gloves with sword-like claws to attack her mid-air.

"Who would have thought that the people of the Voracious Cloud Continent had already reached the unclaimed mountains," Lydia snarled, as he smacked away the woman using the Bat. Although she blocked, she couldn't halt the momentum.

As Master Mountain said, the strength of the new batch of outsiders was terrifying. It was unexpected that someone in Emerald City actually managed to ally with these people.

Not only was this woman able to physically keep up with Lydia's transformed body, but she was even able to resist the Death Attribute attacks and managed to evade or tank her heavy attacks to a certain extent. The chosen of Wepwawet even suspected that the claws she was using were comparable to legendary weapons.

After being smacked straight on with the bat, she was punted into a building close by, giving Lydia the chance to switch back to the bow. Despite the rubble and dust, she was able to clearly make out her target, firing a volley of energy arrows

"Urgh!" her sensitive ears were able to hear the cultivator girl gasp.

Finally, Armor Breaking had shown its worth and broke the woman's peculiar robes, further improving the effects of Armor Penetration. However, the woman with skin as tough as iron quickly appeared from the cloud and started attacking again, but this time Lydia's arrows had left deep wounds across her body.

"Tsk! Why won't you die!" she screeched as she unleashed a quick combo attack on the humanoid wolf.

"That's my line, you crazy bitch!"

Ignoring the scratches the claws left on her leather armor, Lydia smashed the bat straight into the cultivator's head. It made a deep, metallic sound, like a gong or bell. Finally, the weird woman faltered and fell toward the ground.

"Not the face!" the woman screamed pitifully, as the vengeful archer started her facial correction operation. Lydia didn't give her a chance to recover and played that drum, like a maniac. Her solo was heard in the whole city, like a crazy guard sounding the alarms.

On the streets below, Ray's group of refugees were fighting the goons and running towards the edge of the city. In their mid, they protected the non-combatants but there was one addition. An inconspicuous old man, unable to walk and marred with scars.

While Lydia was busy fighting the weird cultivator and the guard of Emerald City, Ray was facing off against one of the three guild masters of Emerald City. Neither of them would have expected to fall into such a dire situation when they were just on their way back. But how did it come to this situation?

It all began with Lydia making the decision to take the slow way back together with Ray, who could not directly return to Minas Mar with Home Call and wished to accompany the groups of slaves he freed until they reached Emerald City. It all started one week ago when they finally reached this place...

Originally, they had just wanted to help the group settle down, before getting on their way. It was their fourth day in the city when things started rapidly escalating. A barely recognizable cripple suddenly approached them on the street. Covered in blood and with a broken leg, he called out to them for help with a raspy, almost inaudible voice.

Hubert McCarthy, the dimensional merchant, had become a pitiful sight. He was marred from torture, missing several fingers and unable to walk with his Achilles tendons severed. His leg was broken and he was covered in blood because he literally jumped out of the window the moment he saw them walking by outside.

Since they recognized him, they couldn't just send him away. They knew that especially Seth, Mary, and Alison had been looking for him, ever since he vanished. Of course, they took him to their hotel room to talk with him.

Hubert revealed everything he knew about Emerald City. The place was by no means a paradise, quite the opposite actually. The city was governed by two corporations and three guilds who had all been in cahoots with the Scene and Spatia from the very beginning, abusing this relationship to fill their pockets.

The underworld of Emerald City was thriving, making the leadership rich. McCarthy had ended up as one of their first victims. He had been on a special quest to raise his skill when they caught him during his stay. Since then he had been unable to leave. He also talked about his last attempt and the reason for his current condition.

They were still unsure and by the time they tried to contact Minas Mar, they realized that things were already escalating. The connection of the communication orb was jammed. It was only in the following days that they realized the importance of Hubert to the Golden Jackals, one of the three guilds of Emerald City.

Not only were communications cut off, but the Golden Jackals had the whole city on lockdown with the excuse that they were looking for an escaped criminal. Using the help of the former slaves they had been looking for a way out of the city without causing any great commotion. In the end, things became annoying no matter what they tried.

After their first attempt to smuggle the merchant out, another force, probably one of the guilds, found out where they stayed and attacked them in the hotel to claim Hubert for themselves. The fight in the hotel was not the problem, but things blew up afterward since Hubert's location was now known to all.

Unlike in a novel, where the strength of enemies gradually grew until one faced the final boss, the leader of Golden Jackals had directly appeared at the Hotel with an army of goons, mere minutes after the fight in the hotel concluded. And he had brought along this cultivator woman.

While Lydia was playing this gong and Ray fighting the guild master, the group of former slaves was tasked to protect Hubert from the goons and get him out of the city.

A few streets away, close to the Hotel they had been staying in, the city was covered in a thick miasma that blocked people from seeing what exactly was going on. It was the scene of Ray's battle. Inside the cloud, he faced off against a knight wearing black armor, the leader of the Golden Jackals.

After becoming the saint of Sol'Fiam Ray had become very accustomed to using the evil energy he absorbed in curses and dark magic. Especially the power to sense evil and evil intent allowed him to fight like he was able to read the opponent's mind. However...

Ray's miasma shield shattered and he was thrown back. The saint desperately turned into a cloud of miasma and dispersed among the surrounding fog to evade the knight's follow-up attack. The fight was by far not as one-sided as Ray had expected. His opponent showed incredibly high resistance to curses and the ability to deal damage.

"Haha, I acknowledge that you are strong," the guild master said to the cloud of miasma, having lost his target, "But I am probably the worst opponent you could have met," he said with a sneer.

Taking a stance, he shouted "Dark Jackals Hunt!"

The cloud of miasma suddenly started condensing and Ray felt that he was actually forced to re-materialize before the duration of the skill ran out! Ray suddenly appeared right in front of the man, facing his attack.

He felt stuck in place and had no chance to evade, as the towering sword slashed him. Hot pain seared through his mind as he felt his flesh and bones being severed. In horror, he lost his composure for a moment and it started gushing out.


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