Chapter 48 - Destroyed cities
Scenes of something you wished were only in your nightmares were making themselves prevalent as I flew across the skies of the desolate Barrens. A semblance of society lay destroyed on the ground, with patches of monsters roaming free.
Many of these monsters were either being led by a TITAN, or you could occasionally find a few traveling alone. Many of them were cleared after the appearance of dungeons the first time, with the occasional teams being sent whenever a dungeon appeared and a dungeon break occurred in the Barren lands
After the stabilization of the cities, more hunting squads that handled these monsters would have to be sent out so that they don’t form into larger groups and begin targeting the walled-off cities.
I had passed by two cities so far, cities that I had seen while driving to Star City not too long ago. Their serene atmosphere was broken as you could see destroyed buildings and smoke, but they were still standing. There were significantly more casualties in other cities that were not lucky enough to have strong hunters stationed
I was forcing myself to not prioritize a city that I couldn’t keep out of my mind, as there were more cities near me where I could save more people in time. I would move at the fastest pace towards the place I awakened in, Outer Bank X
The two cities I passed were still trying to clear any monsters running around inside, with a few patches of monsters slowly getting together outside the city walls. I began with the inside of the cities and sniped the monsters with [Doom Bolt]. Hunters would be chasing the beasts only to see of a flash of lightning and a charred corpse right after, looking to the skies to see my figure flashing away with [Instant Transfer] to my next target
When I was met with any TITANs grouping monsters together, I cast [Spear of Destiny] towards them. A dark palpitating spear more than twice my size would form and strike down towards these large beasts, nailing them to the ground. Rank B BOSSes required two or three hits of this spear that always aimed at their chest before a bloody hole appeared, where their hearts used to be ruptured.
Rank A BOSSes required well over multiple casts of [Spear of Destiny], as they instinctively felt the deadly spears headings towards them and either tried to evade or block. After their arms became a mess of flesh and bones and their mobility was reduced, the dark spears dug through the tight chest muscles until they reached their hearts.
I only came across two other rank A BOSSes, adding to my collection another rank A skill and item. The skill was [Arc Lightning- A terrifying lightning that chains onto other nearby enemies strikes down] and the item was [Fairy’s Wings].
This was the first item I found that wasn’t a generic armor or weapon, but it’s effectiveness was low when it came to me. When equipped, it looked like white glowing wings of light spread out from my back. The wings allowed you to float as long as mana was supplied, and having them on increased your maneuverability and speed in the air. I didn’t need the floating function because of [Flight], but I would have them on for the boost they provide while I was flying. My speed became even faster, allowing me to reach the third city today before night fell
This city was even more desolate than the last two, with a majority of it in ruins and hunters still holding off monsters. I tried [Arc Lightning] for the first time here and watched a streak of blue lightning pierce into one monster, and then it continued flying and chaining towards multiple others. In larger groups of monsters, the skill was able to chain more than 8 times to take down multiple beasts
I flew around this city and cast [Guardian’s Light] towards the injured. My figure that was flying through the skies releasing golden lights while having glowing wings outstretched behind only made me stand out even more. The city and its surrounding area was cleared of monsters in no time, and I chose to spend the night here as I realized I couldn’t hunt effectively at night with the low visibility.
When I took the journey to Star City last time, it had taken us the entire day from Outer Bank X to get there. Yet now, I was only halfway through to Outer Bank X as I worked to take down groups of monsters and aid the struggling cities I came across. At the same time I was clearing any dungeons that were high risk so that another dungeon break didn’t occur. After seeing the state of most hunters in the city, I also gave out the many rank B skill books, items, and cores I didn’t have need of to raise multiple rank B hunters in the past three cities that could effectively handle the new dungeons that arose
I would reach Outer Bank X tomorrow, but my head was aching from what I might see when I get there. More than a day had passed since dungeons appeared en masse again, if a city was faced with strong monsters, its outcome would already be decided by now. I hoped for the best, but I prepared myself for the more than likely scenario of destruction that I might see tomorrow.
I wanted to keep to myself tonight, so after flying around this third city and healing any that were badly injured, I found a destroyed building to get into to sleep for the night. I went into a high rise building that was badly damaged and found an enclosed room to stay in where I took out some of the food in my storage rings and finally ate something today while thinking about the future
Early in the morning when dawn broke, I rose from the destroyed building and continued my way towards Outer Bank X. There was a long-distance with only the Barrens to look at before I reached the next city. The cl.u.s.ters of monsters were becoming more frequent as I went further out of the Empire, leaving me with a heavy heart as more of my conjectures were turning out to be true. The groups of beasts in the Barrens were only met with death as dark flames, explosive cold blasts, or chaining lightning decimated their ranks. I was releasing all of my anger onto them, but it seemed to be ever so increasing.
I passed through another city that I recalled was right before Outer Bank X, and the sight did not bode well for what I would be seeing from now on. All around me was carnage, with beasts running rampant and very few survivors in sight. I looked at the city below me in anger and sadness as the bloody sight laid itself bare
Lightning rained down as it chained from beast to beast, destroying anything it came across as my rage continued to build up. I was angry at the beasts, but I was also angry at myself and many others in the empire.
The most powerful hunters were stationed and concentrated in the cities further inland. It seemed only natural as they held higher-ranked dungeons and they were required to clear them. Even I left Outer Bank X to go to a core defense city that held higher ranking dungeons. But this natural thing meant there were very few powerful hunters in the outer cities of the empire
Nobody had ever expected dungeons to appear en masse again, but they did. With these cities having a few rank B hunters and many more lower-ranking ones, how could they handle it if a rank A dungeon appeared and a dungeon break occurred?
Unless they were lucky enough for more powerful hunters to naturally awaken and take the lead in defending them, some cities faced complete destruction. Similar to the first advent of the apocalypse, many deaths will occur throughout the world until those truly powerful begin to fully mobilize.
The only sliver of hope was people hiding in underground bunkers as the monsters roamed above them, only left to wait for a chance of survival. I looked at the destroyed city while taking down the beasts in the most excruciating ways possible, hoping many people were able to hide themselves and bunker down in some of the purposefully created shelters.