As Lost Dream and his party were in a momentary state of shock, Reilei stepped in front of Ayanelle and firmly stood her ground.
As Reilei stood there, beneath the layer of nervousness and excitement, she surprisingly felt an extreme level of calmness and clear-headedness. A few moments ago when Invoke tried to attack Ayanelle, it was as though everything around her was moving in slow motion.
It was similar to the time when Wendell almost attacked her. Even though she was unable to avoid it herself and it was stopped in time by Kong Dishi, she was still capable of following the attack with her eyes.
Though it was very strange to her. Reilei felt that ever since the fire incident, oddly enough, she had found herself feeling different to say the least. At first, she thought that it was simply due to the fact that she no longer had to deal with the stress of holding down three jobs.
It could also be not having to worry about paying back a mountain of debt. Maybe it was even taking in a new perspective on life after having survived a near-death experience, however, she was uncertain.
But, even though Reilei was uncertain, she knew one thing without a shred of doubt in her mind. Whatever happened to her that day changed her in some way. It was only natural that one would notice the changes to their own body, especially when it was so many things in such a short period of time.
It may have just been a mental thing, but it also felt physical. For example, when she looked in the mirror, she found that the slight marks from the stress she suffered that was on her skin before had vanished. Also, the burn wounds that were on a few parts of her body had completely healed without a single scar left behind!
That was not all that changed. She looked younger and her skin had a certain natural glow to it. She was filled with an abundance of energy to the point she found it challenging to do simply relax. She felt more confident, her basic senses had improved, things that were previously complicated to her before had become easier to understand, and she felt that even her overall physical strength had increased.
These things did not go unnoticed to her, however, she believed that it may have been something the doctors gave her while she was in the hospital.
It could possibly be some unknown side effect to one of the drugs given to her, but since she did not feel ill nor was she suffering in any way, she decided to keep it to herself. After all, the last thing she wanted to do was worry her son over something so trivial.
"If you want to hurt her, you'll have to go through me first." Reilei said with a rare tone of confidence and sternness present in her voice. If this was the real world, she may have been conflicted and even avoided a direct confrontation.
However, once it dawned on her that she was a complete stranger to everyone in this world, it was as if a veil was cast over her previous doubts and nervousness. Reilei's heartbeat returned to a calm and steady pace and before she knew it, there was only a state of calmness that remained about her.
But, what Reilei did not know was that these new feelings had come from not just the Eight Lunar Cycles physique, but mainly from the part of Izroth's soul that had infused itself with her own.
Lost Dream's facial expression darkened as he pushed the creature to the back of his mind for the time being. Given the creature's current state, it was not a threat to them. The only thing that stood in their way at the moment was that solo summoner. Once they took care of her then they would be able to switch their focus onto the deer. He also decided to use Invoke's death to his advantage.
"See? This is what happens when you try to play it cool and never follow any plans. Invoke brought destruction upon himself that could've easily been avoided." Lost Dreams said. He was not a fan of Invoke to begin with and so he secretly wanted to thank Reilei. This would definitely make it easier for him to get rid of Invoke when the time came. After all, he despised wildcards.
Of course, the others agreed with Lost Dreams point of view. If Invoke had not been so reckless, then there was no way he would have died so easily! They had all just hit level 10 and could now suffer the penalty for dying. Who wanted to lose hard-earned experience points and be unable to level up for a full hour? The answer was no one!
"Don't give her another chance to cast anything! We'll all attack together!" Lost Dreams followed up. Now that everyone was on the same page, this should be a breeze! After all, everyone knew the biggest weakness that magic casters possessed was that they were completely useless if not given time to cast spells. One would be a fool not to take advantage of such an obvious weakness.
Skulls, along with the warrior member of their party North Tails, dashed towards Reilei. Their goal was to get into melee range as quickly as possible and make the battle a close-range one. However, the two of them used caution as they approached Reilei since they did not want to end up like Invoke.
As for Lost Dreams, he maintained a safe distance of attack along with Shivva a female mage and Fireward the party's cleric given that their classes were all ranged.
Lost Dreams was the first to strike as he quickly fired off two arrows in Reilei's direction. This was one of the ranger's beginner skills known as Dual Shot. While its power was not particularly impressive, the two arrows made it difficult for the target to avoid the attack.
As the two arrows soared towards Reilei and the two players charged in her direction, she did not panic or grow flustered.
"I can see it, it's all so clear..." Reilei muttered to herself. In her eyes, the arrows and the players might as well have been moving in slow motion!
As the first arrow approached, Reilei turned her head sideways and caused it to just barely miss her head. As it passed by, she could even see the small details of the wooden material used to craft the body of the arrow.
The second arrow trailed behind the first, however, it was coming in from a lower angle and was headed straight for her shoulder. She leaned slightly to the side as the second arrow flew right past her. It all happened in the blink of an eye, but she managed to easily evade both arrows!
In her mind, Reilei pictured the five players before her as the same boars and monsters she dealt with earlier today. Therefore, she chose to deal with them in a similar manner. After all, why fix something that was not broken?
Lost Dreams was dumbfounded. How had he missed such an easy shot on a stationary target? But, he eventually brushed it off as sheer dumb luck on the sorcerer's part. However, the truth of the manner was that Reilei's movements were so minimal and quick that to him it looked as if he missed his shots by chance!
Not too long after Lost Dreams' failed attack, Skulls arrived within attack range. Since he was faster than North Tails, he was the first to reach Reilei. When he saw that Reilei did not attempt to run away, he thought that she might be up to something and so the first skill he used was a crowd control skill called Daze.
The damage on Daze was laughable at best, however, it could stun a target for 1.5 seconds! After she was stunned, it would only take a moment between the five of them to deal the finishing blow.
"Die!" Skulls yelled as a yellow glow appeared around his fist. He launched a swift uppercut towards Reilei's chin, but before his fist even reached the halfway mark, he felt an overwhelming force crash into his face. This caused his legs to give out and buckle under the pressure as his entire body fell back and slammed into the ground.
Skulls' mind went completely blank. "What just happened?", "What did I get hit by?" those were some of the few thoughts that ran through his head. However, as he lied on the ground flat on his back dissipating into countless particles just as Invoke had done a few moments ago, he saw a slight shine where his head had just been.
Right where his head had been was a shiny orb no bigger than the palm of one's hand. Holding that orb was a group of slender and delicate fingers. It was a summoner's orb! He had just been physically struck with a summoner's orb!
But, how was it possible for him to die in one hit? Even if a summoner poured all their points into physical strength, it would not be enough to one-shot him even with a critical hit! What was going on? However, before any of his questions could be answered, he had dissipated and followed in Invoke's footsteps. The original party of six were now a party of four.
"Skulls!" North Tails sped up as he furiously smashed forward with his shield. He wanted to run through Reilei with brute force!
North Tails who had invested all his stat points into his HP, attack, and defense stat was incredibly lacking when it came to agility. Before his shield could make contact with Reilei, her summoner's orb had already smashed into his head twice. There was nothing he could do to avoid it! He was gifted with a swift death.
Lost Dreams, Shivva, and Fireward were stunned. That was because this time, they could clearly see that the summoner before them was not using any skills or powerful spells. No, it was something even more terrifying to imagine.
"What kind of summoner has such a high attack stat?" Lost Dreams said in a tone filled with disbelief. He had just clearly witnessed two players, one of which was a tank, fall to the physical attacks of a summoner class! He was not the only one left in a state of disbelief, Shivva and Fireward were also equally stunned.
However, the most stunned out of everyone present was surprisingly Reilei herself! But, if the three of them knew why she was shocked they would cough up blood from being infuriated.
Reilei had a small frown on her face as she was confused as to why two of them went down after a single hit and yet the last player took two full hits.
If the others knew what she was thinking, they would be outraged! What kind of summoner expects to take down a tank with physical attacks in the first place?! What player in their right mind thinks that it's normal to take out players in one or two shots?!
Xiao Liang cheered Reilei on in the background as it hopped up and down in a happy manner.
When Lost Dreams saw Xiao Liang jumping around near the defenseless deer, it suddenly gave him a great idea!
"Shivva, target the deer! She can't attack us and protect it at the same time!" Lost Dreams commanded. He notched an arrow as changed his primary target from Reilei to Ayanelle.
Shivva was a bit reluctant at first since it seemed like an underhanded method, however, desperate times called for desperate measures! Shivva began to cast Fireball with her choice of target apparent.
Reilei's eyes widened after she heard Lost Dreams. He wanted to use such despicable means just to accomplish his goal? How could anyone be so cruel?
Reilei looked back and saw Ayanelle's life already fading away as she held on to every precious second. It was as if the young deer was the only thing tying her down to this world and the main reason she was reluctant to leave it. That was when Reilei made a choice.
She knew that the moment she left its side, they would attack it without mercy. Even if she did make it to them after it happened, it would be too late. She wanted to give Ayanelle as much time as possible since there was so little of it remaining.
Therefore, she positioned herself perfectly in between Lost Dreams' party and Ayanelle. If she had to suffer a bit, then so be it! She felt that compared to her life, this small level of difficulty was nothing!
Xiao Liang cried out as if trying to warn Reilei of the impending danger, however, she remained motionless.
A Fireball along with an arrow that had a strange spiral to it shot towards Ayanelle, or rather Reilei, who was defending Ayanelle using her own body.
Reilei closed her eyes as the attacks traveled through the air on a direct collision course with her.