Chapter 46 - Unshackled
I observed the burning lands beneath me as the screams of beasts rang out. Whatever plans the three TITANs had to besiege the city were out of the window as every beast in their ranks fell, and eventually they themselves met their end.
My defenses were a notch below these rank A BOSSes, as can be seen by how the first one I took down yesterday broke a few bones with a slap. My offensive skills could not be matched though, as the damage of rank A skills that were further boosted by support skills ravaged their defenses after just one attack.
I floated down to the burning ground to pick up the [Core]s. Similar to yesterday, many of them were rank A cores as the beasts came from a rank A dungeon break. I left lower level cores aside when I was flying through the city yesterday, only grabbing and absorbing the higher-ranked ones when I stood guard in the sky the last few hours.
With the death of many beasts here, as well as the large piles of cores I could see besides the three dead TITANs, I should be able to absorb enough until I reach the cap of 300 for my attributes. With the skills that provided additional attributes, mine had already broken through to the next rank after A. What was this rank? Maybe I’d be the pioneer to find out
Besides the cores, I found two rank A skills and an item from the three BOSSes, the two skills being [Spear of Destiny- Dark energy manifests in the form of a spear that aims at the hearts of your enemies] and [Ultra Regeneration- As long as your heart beats and your brain is still functioning, you will not meet death]. The item was a purple armor that looked extremely sturdy called [Armament of the Commander]. I learned the skills and equipped the armor, enjoying the new feeling of safety after the hard material covered the entirety of my body.
I went back towards the city after that and met many hunters that were prepared for a fight that was finished. I nodded at Elizabeth and went back with her into the military sector to listen to the updates they had received so far.
The news was grim, with many deaths and some cities that couldn’t be reached. A monster that exceeded rank A had taken over countries in the United Federation, and the threat of the horde of beasts with the terrifyingly large turtle that was most likely of the same rank as the one appearing in the United Federation had its horde increased in size and was accelerating towards the Empire.
I listened to all of these pieces of information and knew what I would be doing from now on. There was no time to waste, so I used my newly formed influence in the city to get many things in order. The first thing was to procure more storage rings, and I was able to find two more rank B and 3 rank C rings from the military inventory, bringing my total collection of storage rings to 5 rank c, and 3 rank B.
Half of these rings would be filled with food and daily necessities as I was planning to leave the city, roam the Barrens, and give aid to any other existing cities while going towards the monster horde heading towards us. Specialized hunters from the Empire would be doing this within the next few days, but I would move out first. This responsibility did not feel that heavy on me, as the strength I had more than made up for it. I knew that my [Focus] was blank for a reason, and it wasn’t to waste it away just clearing dungeons in cities and being entertained.
I made this clear to the rankers that were standing atop this city, and their expressions turned somber as they heard. Elizabeth looked at me and spoke, "We will reinforce and meet you at the outer perimeters of the Empire as things are being settled. The information shows that the horde will reach the outer perimeters in around a week"
She spoke with conviction, looking straight into my eyes for the first time in a while. I nodded at her and moved along to secure other matters before I began moving. I knew the remaining hunters wouldn’t sit still as their Empire faced this enemy, but I also didn’t want to see more deaths. They would make their own choices though, and I couldn’t change that. They would focus on stabilizing the surrounding cities and making sure no more dungeon breaks occur.
The consensus seemed to be that destroying dungeons completely was good, but it was to be regulated. They were horrific designs that brought them much death and pain, but they also allowed for more people to grow stronger when they were repeatedly cleared. Some would be destroyed, while others that can be comfortably cleared would be left behind.
It took an entire 3 hours after this until I was ready to leave. During that time I had chosen more rank B skills from the military inventory and the ones that had dropped that I hadn’t learned yet. The newly gained skills mostly augmented my damage and defense further.
They were [Greater Flame Penetration],[Burning Soul], and [Elementalist] that respectively reduced the flame resistance of enemies, seared their core with flames and caused more damage when using element-based skills. [Hard Body], [Diamond Skin], and [Elemental Mirror] all boosted my defenses even further, making my body seem out of this world with the colors and textures if I had not been keeping active skills like [Stealth] and [Shadow Veil] that hid all the iridescent colors and effects
The remaining time was spent stuffing the storage rings with all sorts of meals that I had prepared, from the steaks I liked to nonperishable foods that could last me more than two weeks.
After that was the somber military burial for the death of many soldiers and Vice Admirals across the city that put their lives on the line. One particular soldier being honored was Vice Admiral Magnar, his death causing a large gap that would not be filled any time soon.
Once all of this was done and I was ready to go, I was met with a row of soldiers and hunters sending me off. I would meet them all again soon enough when they begin moving towards the beast horde, and didn’t know who would be lucky to come out alive from that fight
Elizabeth stood at the forefront while I flew away, only telling me to be safe and wait for them before facing off against the enemy. I couldn’t begin to understand what she was thinking, and I myself didn’t have the luxury of getting emotionally sidetracked right now. Who knows, maybe after everything was over I would put in the time.
I flew away from Star City and went towards the desolate Barrens where monsters roamed free. Dungeons didn’t only appear in cities, and they would be all over the land. The ones appearing outside of cities would have dungeon breaks and allow monsters to roam free. There were specialized hunter squads made to regularly hunt down monsters in the Barrens before they made their way to the walled-off cities. I would be acting as a one-man squad this time around and take down anything I come across
The ultimate goal at the end of this journey was the death and loot from the ridiculously huge turtle in the middle of hundreds of thousands of beasts. All I had with me were rank A skills that were boosted multiple times with support skills being kept active at all times. Would they be enough to take down something a level higher?