When Rodan stepped outside into the garden, he already saw those wolf monsters patrolling, roaming around the barrier he made. Moreover, their numbers had doubled since the time he returned to the safe house.
“Hey, Nono, can you make something like this?” Rodan asked gently to Nono, who was beside him.
“What, the barrier? I can do it, of course. But... it is impossible for me to hold it out for this long like how you did. Not only that. You have created lots of barrier back home. It’s godly. Though I’ve seen it several times now, but it still amazes me that you can do that without problems,” Nono reasoned.
“Without problems, huh...?” Rodan replied. “I wanted to say the same as well but it doesn’t seem those monsters would allow that. Look at their shining red eyes, they could penetrate this barrier I made any time soon.”
Nono watched as Roro walked through the dark road, only slightly lit by the luminescence of the barrier above.
“Tonight will be a bit different since we’re on our own.
Ringo will focus more on defending the safe house alone. Though she’s quite powerful, she still won’t be able to withstand dozens of attackers during the night. Her boys exhausted themselves because of the work I gave them before, so they couldn’t be much of help to her nor to us. Meanwhile, Ruru will be our last resort should things don’t get in our favor.
That’s why Nono, we will need some extra hands. Are you ready to use that special magic of yours?”
“Yes, anytime you wish, I’ll fire it up as soon as possible.”
“Well, then, do it now.”
“...You got it, Roro.”
Immediately, from beneath Nono’s feet emerged a magic circle in purple. It reshaped into a rhombus and then multiplying all around him. Shortly, those rhombuses rose a bit, creating several levels of geometries. Then, from them, was generated tens of shinobi projection made out of shadow.
“Done,” Nono stated as he finished his magic spell. His shadow forces moved quickly and arrayed themselves around him.
“Alright, then. Don’t forget how long your magic can last. Don’t force yourself to maintain their appearance.”
“I understand, Roro. A maximum of ten minutes, that’s all I can give.”
“Ten minutes, huh? I guess that’ll do.”
Rodan said it so casually, yet it sounded different in Nono’s ears.
“Roro was far serious now. Ever since what he had done in the city, he became greatly attached to solve this monster problem. He may spoke like his normal self, but deep inside him, I can tell he’s giving it all he got.”
Before long, Rodan pointed out to Nono. “Nono, be ready, I’ll remove the barrier,” he said calmly.
“Go for it!” Nono stated boldly.
“Hmph,” Rodan stretched his hand up high to the sky. It was seen that the barrier was quickly deactivated. Many threads of light ran to the top of his palm as the barrier faded. Finally, the magic that could ensure comfort to everyone was no longer there and thus the battle began.
Hundreds of woruvens charged in. Rodan’s sword was slightly illuminated in red aura. The ruby stone on his sword was shining brightly in the same color. And when those woruvens got close enough, Rodan unleashed hell by a single swing of his bastard sword. The slash of his weapon was so powerful it evaporated those wolf monsters in one fell swoop. It made the monsters look so weak, although in reality they were actually tougher.
Nono was shocked and amazed in the same time that his master had that much of power still despite having used a large barrier beforehand. But amidst of his awe, Rodan shouted to him.
“Hey, Nono! Don’t start sleeping now. They’re still coming!”
A horde of woruvens approached. They sprinted through the high plateau before finally reaching the proximity of Rodan’s sword range. But Rodan didn’t swing his sword. He let Nono handle the next wave.
Meanwhile, Rodan noticed a large horde of woruvens were charging from another point.
“As expected, most of those wolves are charging from the other side. Nono, handle the ones here, I’ll deal with those in that point!” said Rodan while leaping away to that said sector.
“You got it, Roro. Well, then... Here we go!” Nono yelled out.
Shortly, the shadow forces pulled out their swords which were made out of shadow as well. Soon, they fought against the wolf monsters, causing cacophony of roars and sword slashes in the field. One by one the woruvens got killed by the shinobi shadows, only to be met by another wave of them and this time much more ferocious.
“Tch, what are they, zorglings? Sheesh, it appears I really can’t back down just yet. Five minutes has passed and they’re yet to stop... Tch, I must make sure they’re knocked back in the next five minutes!” Nono thought.
He quickly commanded the shadow forces to move forward while making a miasma smell in every step they made which surprisingly attracted the monsters to attack them.
“I’m not like him who can make plans and strategy in a rather short period of time. His power is also immeasurable. But it’s not just him who has great powers, I’ve some too!
I’ve studied the arts of shadow for years now. One of them is that I can create a group of twenty shadow henchmen to support me in battle. I will only use them when it is most necessary since they’re time-limited and cost me a lot of Mana.
Now is the right time to use them! I will give it all I got at this!”
The next four minutes were intense chaos. The shadow forces were practically invulnerable to those wolves as they were simply shadows, impossible to touch. Even so, their miasma smell caused the monsters to attack them. When they were close, that’s when the shadows unleashed their fury.
Shortly, Nono realized that he’s on his time limit. But the wolves were still coming, pouring down from the high plateau in front of them like waterfall.
“Tch...! This last minute must be spent wisely...”
Meanwhile, in the other side, Rodan was battling them monsters while trying to figure something out.
“Tonight was indeed different,” he mumbled while landing a kick to a woruven. “Not only had their numbers increased drastically... they also got more powerful. Just look at that pooch. It’s still alive even after I dealt a mortal blow to it, unlike yesterday.”
Before the wolf got back up, Rodan rushed it and killed it with his bare hands. “It’s like they’re evolving every each day. Imagine if this was left off for the next several days... they will be stronger than orcs, even ogres.”
Ten wolves barked while attempting to bite Rodan. But Rodan flipped in midair and landed a fatal blow with his sword, causing them to evaporate to nothingness.
“At first I didn’t think of them as a threat, but after I went to the city, I decided to acknowledge them as a true threat to everyone. If that’s the case, I’m forced to use my sword again.”
Back to Nono’s point of view, he was left with a few seconds before his shadow forces gave in. “Grr... they’re just keeping on coming.”
Shortly afterwards, his shadow forces dissipated into thin air, leaving him alone as the time was up. Knowing that he’s threatened from all sides, Nono decided to retreat back to Rodan’s position.
A lone woruven charged at him in an unprecedented speed with its jaw open wide.
“What the heck—ARGH” Nono had little time to react, causing him to receive bite injury to his left arm. But immediately, he pulled a hidden stiletto from behind his robe and killed the monster.
“Ouch... it hurts, darn it...!” he grunted in pain while escaping back into the first layer where Rodan was.
Not long afterwards, Nono realized that there were more speedy monsters targeting him. But unlike before, this time he knew they’re coming. He used his shadow arts to move invisibly and made himself untouchable for a mere second. Not only that, he risked himself running through the field of traps that had been built in the afternoon, letting the monsters be killed by so many bear traps.
Because of that, lesser amount of monsters chased him. His agile movement made him able to waltz through the field without triggering a single trap. In fact, he exploited the aggressive stance of those monsters to drag them into the limitless traps that had been set up around the garden.
He used the information from Rodan about the traps’ location, which fortunately was all around him as of now. When he’s close to a tree, he pulled a rope that was tying onto something, causing seven wolves to be caught in the nets. When he’s crossing the road, he remembered some pitfalls that were dug in the afternoon. He dragged the wolves into chasing him and made many of them fell into the concealed holes in which in them were placed dozens of palisades, impaling anything that fell into them.
Though the traps worked well this time and hampered many monsters, Nono was still far outnumbered. When the woruvens nearly outran him, a miracle occured!
Suddenly, a massive red wave enlightened the entire garden. All of the woruvens that attempted to chase Nono down were killed, evaporated into thin air. Even those outside of the first layer were also vanquished by it.
In Rodan’s perspective, he had just activated the same magical technique he did back when he’s on the road to Astur when chased by biruboars. It proved effective, though Rodan preferred not to overuse them.
After a few seconds, the monsters got thinned out in numbers, making it easier for Rodan to handle. But after some minutes, Nono arrived with his arm still bleeding from the bite injury.
“Nono!” Rodan shouted. “Whatever the heck happened with you?!”
“Ahahahah... I was reckless, Roro. They overran my position. There are some agile ones, running at me in fast speed that I could barely react to. This is the result of it, ow-ow-ow...!” Nono explained while trying to ward off the pain he suffered.
“Can you hang on for a moment?” Rodan asked.
“Don’t worry about me,” Nono responded.
“Fine then, let me clear up these wolves first. Here, catch!” Rodan threw a potion to Nono.
“Haha... thanks, Roro,”
“Drink that. It’ll relieve your pain a bit. It’ll also stop your bleeding.”
“Roger that, red hot shot.”
“I will drive these dogs out of here!”
After that, Rodan sprinted into the fray and took the fight back to them. He went out of the first layer as he charged wildly, attacking all of the wolf monsters in the vicinity. His movement looked invisible, only the sound of his sword was heard and flashes coming from every time he swung his sword were seen.
“I was careless once again.” He mumbled while attacking. “I am assured that Nono’s position wasn’t overwhelming. But I forgot something in the most crucial times!”
Rodan continued striking more and more wolves with his sword. Sometimes, he was so infuriated till the point a single slash made a tree fell down.
“Miasma... that’s what attracting monsters. Powerful stench of miasma from Nono’s shadows must’ve drawn their attention to attack him, even attracting the ones near my position!”
Rodan was angry, but he’s angry to himself for not realizing it sooner. “I could’ve released as many miasmas as I want. I could’ve dealt a single powerful blow that would eliminate the threat immediately, but I wasn’t paying attention. My carelessness has led Nono into that state! How foolish of me!?”
One hour later...
It felt like thousands of Wild Woruvens that had been killed by Rodan and Nono. But even so, the wolf monsters were still poised to attack the garden.
And adding salt to the injury...
...they’re much more dangerous this time.
Rodan noticed it after he killed one just now. He had returned to Nono and tended to his injury. But all of sudden the monsters were growing abnormally stronger.
“Those creatures are getting tougher, aren’t they, Roro?” Nono asked in a low voice.
“Yeah... it makes me wonder, what is causing them to be like that?” Rodan wondered. “At this point we should no longer call them Wild Woruvens. They are about the same level as Oni monsters now.”
“I’m sorry I can’t be much of help, Roro.”
“Don’t mention it. You’ve already been a big help to me. If only I was a bit more careful, you’re not going to end up like this. So the fault is all mine, brother.”
Shortly, the woruvens howled beneath the rinsing moonlight above them. Their howling could be heard as far to the city. But when Rodan looked at the direction to the city, he imagined of something.
There he realized something.
“Hold on a minute...”
“What’s wrong, Roro?”
“It intrigues me... many of these strangely-evolved woruvens attacked us here, moreover with overwhelming strength, but are there no monsters attacking the city?”
“...Hey... you’re right. I saw all of those woruvens were simply heading straight to Ringo’s garden here. Could it be her apples attract them?” Nono wondered.
“Impossible. Woruvens are carnivores, they don’t eat vegetables or fruits or even grass.”
“Oh, right... but it sure is strange... with the overwhelming numbers we just fought the monsters could’ve broke into the city and killed the populace...” Nono gave out his thought.
Rodan’s eyebrows expanded widely, “...But that did not happen!”
Rodan drew out his sword immediately as the next wave of woruvens was coming in.
“There has to be something in Ringo’s garden that attracted these monsters into attacking here!”