Several hunters were floating above eye level of the monster, including Reed himself.
‘Fu*k, this is bad!!’
His head turned almost in every direction.
Then a certain item popped into his mind. The stone tablet and what’s carved in it.
‘Give thy gold to the throne!?’
He reaches out of his pocket and found three gold coins, he looked directly at the throne and threw it. To his surprise, he immediately stopped floating.
He fell and landed on his back.
The concerned Rei and Rone immediately rush to his side. Reed's eyes widen and shifted his gaze onto the floating hunters and shouts.
Reed shouted as he met their gazes
“Throw your gold to the throne!!”
Hunters began tilting their heads after hearing him. The six hunters began reaching out of their pockets and threw all the gold coins they have gathered. They stopped floating and land violently on the ground.
Reed quickly turned his head around to look at the monster. The monster spew its fiery breath which luckily no one was caught in it. The hunters heave a relieved sigh.
Not long after a stone monument began to emerge right in front of them. It shone and revealed a text.
As soon as temptation is too strong, a broken bone shall bring the dawn of mankind and the end of leadership.
When temptation is too strong, a foolish choice shall mark the fall of a false god and a rise in immorality.
It shall be then, when white smoke rises, a contract shall bring an end to the monarchy and the end of peace.
It shall be on the day that the dark one returns, the lost one shall cause a time of peace.
When myth becomes truth, a surrender shall must.
Time is the mortals' enemy.
Everyone was baffled as they read the contents of the stone monument.
‘Time is the mortals enemy?’
He then remembers, the stone shape coffin still sitting on the throne. Rei mention it moved.
“W-We are timed….”
Reed trembled as he muttered those words.
Rone turned around and looks at Reed pale-faced before asking.
“Young man, You’ve discovered something, haven’t you.”
Reed nodded his head slowly. Sweat rolled down his chin.
“What do we do now?”
Reed bit on his lower lip.
“I-I have no clue….”
Instead of freaking out, he lets out a tired smile.
“You did your best, lad.”
But then, a swarm of shadow knights surrounds them. The remaining survivors instantly panicked and raised their weapons.
“Dammit!? What are they gonna do this time!?”
They waited for them to strike, but as they waited the knights were standing still watching them. Each one of them began to bow.
“What’s going on, why aren’t they attacking us?”
The monster began to open its mouth. Reed heard something coming and shouted once more.
As Reed shouted these words, everyone began to act quickly. Instead of breathing a fiery breath, the monster lets out a cloud of white smoke.
Reed hugged Rei tightly.
‘What’s going on
There was a brief silence until Reed sensed an intense bloodlust coming from behind him. He then looked at Rone, as he looks at Rone's pale face he can tell that he felt that too.
“D-Don’t tell me…”
Instead of panicking, Rone lets out a scared smile.
Scared, Reed nervously swallowed his spit. Reed felt his heart go cold as he heard a cracking noise where the throne is. His gaze shifted to Rei next to him, squatted on the ground shivering while holding her head in her hands closing both of her teary eyes.
Reed carefully grasped Rei’s wrist.
At first her body tenses up, and she raised her head like a scared cat. Seeing her, Reed smiled as he nod. Only then did she relax her muscles somewhat.
With that, Reed was able to calm her down. As the fog began to disperse slowly. Reed carefully holds Rei's hands preparing for the worst. Rone tightly held his weapon.
They waited, then finally the fog dissipated. Reed nervously scanned around, nothing has changed all the survivors are still alive and all the knights who were surrounding him earlier suddenly vanish, he lets out a relaxed sigh.
“I-is it over”
One by one all the hunters stood up and carefully scan around their surroundings.
Hunters began rejoicing loudly.
“We made it!!”
Rone legs gave up as he breathe in relief.
The Hunters were hugging each other while shedding tears of joy.
“W-wait maybe this is a trap.”
A skeptical hunter shouted.
The hunters' expressions stiffen as they heard those words,
They once again scanned their surroundings thrice just to make sure.
Until one of the hunters opened the door, and to his surprise, it opened.
He shouted, everyone, gazed at the screaming hunter.
“The door is open! We can get out of here!”
The hunters' eyes lit up one by one then they began to rejoice once more.
“We actually survived!!!”
“We can finally go home!!!”
Instead of celebrating Reed felt unease as he watches the hunters head to the door. He shifted his gaze upon Rei who was about to cry tears of joy. Then he looks at Rone who isn’t smiling. Rone and Reed felt unease.
‘Is that it?’
‘Just like that….’
Reed’s mind began to theorize. He began to think of what if’s. then Rone interrupted his train of thought.
“Hey kids, would you be so kind as help this old man up.”
Reed's eyes widen for a second then proceeds on helping the old man. Rone wrapped his arm around Reeds and Rei's shoulder.
“You felt that too right? Kiddo.” Rone whispered.
Reed replied with a nod.
They headed towards the exit. As they exited the room they saw the same identical room they were in earlier but the thing is the throne became a little bit smaller compared to the ones there earlier. There they saw hunters standing still with their pale-colored faces.
“What’s going on?”
Rone questions the scared hunter. The scared hunter shakily pointed outward. Their gaze followed the finger of the scared hunter. They saw a humanoid figure sitting on the throne looking down at them menacingly.
Cold sweat dripped down Reed’s forehead.
‘as I thought, this is only the beginning of something way worst.’
None of the hunters dared to move because of the sheer pressure that the humanoid emitted. All of the shadow knights appeared right in front of the hunters and made their way towards the throne, one by one kneeling in front of the humanoid figure.
All the hunters were forming tearful expressions as if they’d start breaking into sobs and wails very soon. One hunter in the front suddenly dashes back from where they first enter
“F**k this, I’m out!!!”
As soon as he makes a run from it. The humanoid figure raised its index finger pointing at the running hunter. In a blink of an eye bloody mess of what used to be the running hunter could be found on the ground as well…
The female hunter screamed at the top of her lungs. Others followed suit, the room was now filled with terrified screams from the hunters. Reed was shocked his brain can’t even comprehend what happened. The humanoid suddenly stood up and appeared in front of the screaming female hunter.
“AAAH, STAY AWAY FROM M-”
As soon as she shouted. A hand pierced through the head of the female hunter.
Rei's eyes widen as she saw them, she whimpered her legs collapsed underneath her. Reed's sweat poured down his body as he stayed still as possible as he watched the humanoid bring back his arm from the pierced female hunter. He then looks at the remaining hunters.
Rone was not frightened nor was he afraid. He felt was beyond such mere nouns. Reed stood there for what looked like hours until he was interrupted by a high-pitched scream; his eyes quickly panned over the source of the scream. It was Rei who appears to scream he then looked at the humanoid figure who appears looking for the source of the scream then he looked directly at them. Their eyes met, Reed could feel the flight responses kick in, and his heart rate increased. The color quickly drained from his face. He immediately put his hands over her mouth to stifle her scream.
He then looked at the humanoid figure his eyes were shocked to see the figure was right in front of him. He was paralyzed to the spot, the menacing aura that the humanoid figure emitted held him in a tightening grip. His heart was throbbing in his ears, loud and irregular, he barely heard it, for his mind was clouded with fear as he gaze upon the figure two times taller than him.
Rei clung to his arms as he ushered his dark eyes shut but then a loud bang was heard throughout the area.
Reed quickly opened his eyes and saw several groups of new hunters shooting at the humanoid figure.
The screaming hunters gestured toward them. The humanoid figure looks at the screaming hunter until the figure was interrupted by a fire spell the hunter casts.
The face of the humanoid figure, emotionless until then, was now crumpled in pure rage. Reed took this opportunity he looks at the scared he held both of her shoulders, confused and scared Rei looks at Reed.
“Rei! You need to run towards that hunter!”
Reed pointed at the gesturing hunter.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be quick”
Reed gave his best reassuring smile. Rei nodded and headed to the hunter, Reed turned his gaze to the old man who appears to be sitting in shock.
“Mr. Rone, we gotta go now!”
Those words gave him consciousness then nodded at the young lad. He wrapped his arm around Reed, Reed quickly supports him as he stood up both of them rushed toward the hunter. The area was full of noises mages casting incantations to swords clanging with each other it was war in that area. Reed’s ears were starting to hurt from all of those noises but he ignored the pain as he continued making his way to the hunter. They finally arrived at the hunter, the hunter quickly supported Rone. Reed quickly looked back and saw the hunters dealing with the shadow knights and the humanoid figure.
“Let us hurry, lets go!”
Reed gritted his teeth and began running. Rei squeezed her eyes shut and run for her dear life. The hunter quickly jogged in front of them carefully supporting mister Rone
They run towards the narrow path.
The surviving hunters followed the hunter. They ran and ran till they arrived at a familiar area. On the two separate pathways, there are several hunters waiting for them at the spot.
“is that everybody?”
“I think so.”
The hunter quickly panned over the survivors and then nodded.
“Let’s go before the abyss closed.”
They nodded in sync and proceeded to move. As they ran they were greeted by two shadow knights blocking their path.
“All hunters prepare to engage.”
The shadow knights aggressively charged toward the hunters. Two front hunters followed suit and erected their weapons. Their weapons collided.
“Quick! We’ll hold them off.”
The two hunters swung their weapons making the knights block their weapons. Taking this opportunity they managed to maneuver through thanks to the two hunters.
“We’re almost there.”
They all saw the light at the end of the cave. They all run towards the light.
Did they finally escape, did they manage to escape this nightmare? With the light coming closer and closer, a ray of hope found its way into the eyes of the survivors. Reed heard something approaching full speed. He bobbed his head behind and saw a strange object flying towards them at full speed. he quickly roared out loud enough to shake the entire cave
“Everyone get down!!!”
All the Hunters heard Reed’s voice.
They all get down as the object flies through them blocking the way out of the abyss. The impact of the object shook the entire cave. Their view was covered with dust and dirt making it harder to see.
“What was that!!”
“I don’t know..”
As the hunters began asking questions about what was thrown at them. Reed peeked and was shocked at what he saw. His eyes widen as he saw a giant boulder blocking their exit. That giant boulder managed to get stuck between the gaps in the walls.
“Y-You kidding me right…”
Their hopeful eyes began to turn into despair. They suddenly heard a roar. Its roar shook the entire cave, ripping across the air through the cave-like thunder. The roar struck Reed’s ears like a wall of pain. He instinctively clutches his ears. He wanted it to stop. But the pain, the pain didn’t stop. His lungs fell out of his breath. His heart trembles. His knees weaken. His whole being wanted to coil into itself to hide away from this onslaught of sound. Then suddenly it stopped. Silence. Deadly silence.
He felt his ears wet.
He raised his hand and feel the wet liquid.
He shakily looked upon his hands. There was blood.
Then it was like a great shadow, in the middle of which was a dark form, of man-shape maybe yet greater, and a power and terror seemed to be in it and to go before it.
‘I-it managed to catch up with us!!’
The hunters were shocked and began to panic. The flames roared up to greet it and wreathed about it, and a black smoke swirled in the air. Its streaming mane kindled and blazed behind in. In its right hand was the head of a hunter stabbed through it. Its face was fuming with rage as he slowly walks towards the hunters. Reed's eyes can’t focus on the humanoid figure as it shakes vigorously.
He wanted to scream out of pain and spew some curses. But he could only open his mouth to find that even words had deserted him. Every breath dragged more and more nausea from the pit of his stomach. Rei looked at the injured Reed kneeling on the ground she quickly jogged towards him. she then panned over the menacing figure. She shivered, but it wasn’t from the cold. It was the thought of losing him. She hurriedly drags Reed back. Reed was running so far behind them.
She screamed his name while dragging him out of harm's way. Reed quickly opened his eyes, his eyes were blurry it took a while to see who was dragging him it was Rei.
His eyes widen and quickly stood up.
Reed quickly held Rei’s arm and step back. The hunter coated himself in a red aura, buffing himself. he then attempted to smash the big boulder with his big hammer.
“I’ll break this boulder, you guys buy me some time.”
He commanded his fellow hunters, and they nodded and take charge of the humanoid figure.
The scared hunter shouted at the hammer-holding hunter.
“I’m trying my best!!”
He then raised and smash the boulder. He managed to dent it but it was not enough.
The hunter swung his sword downwards. The humanoid blocked it, it pushes his weapon back. As if slapping a fly down, the humanoid slammed its palms at the hunter. The bone of his head dislocated making it the cause of his death.
The angry hunter began casting spells back and forth. But the figure continued on walking forward unfazed.
“Put a buff on me!”
The hunter puts on a buff on the spear hunter.
After that, he throws his spear at the figure.
It landed and made a hole in the figure.
The hunter began to cast spells and then blasted the figure. The spell was powerful the ground beneath the figure collapsed.
“That’s what you get you f**ker.”
“Great, let’s help him break that rock..”
“Hold on, I better pay my respect to our fallen comrade.”
“Ah sure… join us when you are done paying your respect.”
The hunter nodded as he walks away to help the other hunter. The hunter kneeled down on his knee and clasp both of his hands together.
“May you rest in peace..”
He then stood up and walked towards the survivors and hunters. As he try to make his way to them, his friend looked back and saw the figure behind the hunter, he urgently shouted at him.
The hunter raised his head after hearing the familiar voice
The hunter rushed towards him.
“Your back! Look behind you!!”
It was then, something sharp gleamed coldly behind the hunter.
The hunter was sliced in half from the top of his head right down to his groin. His cleanly-cut two halves fell to the ground.
The hunter tears up after witnessing this scene. The hunter manifested his spear out of thin air as he rushed toward the humanoid figure. The survivors' eyes widen almost in sync.
The hunter's spear began to glow in a bright green color, as he extend out his spear. Then blink of an eye, he no longer feels both of his arms. His arm and spear flew right through the figure barely hitting the figure.
“AHHH!!!! MY ARM!!!”
The hunter wails in pain. Blood splattered everywhere.
Reed’s legs were getting heavier. His ears are in a bad shape, his breathing was getting rougher. His head was filled with only one chain of thoughts.
‘How do we survive this, how, how, how….’
The words of the stone table Circulated in his brain non-stop. The key to unraveling this mystery is definitely in the stone tablet they read moments ago.
It was then.
A thought raced past Reed’s brain just then
Reed’s eyes widened.
‘I-it can’t be… I hope we are not too late to use that!?’
‘Dammit, we have no choice but to do that..’
When myth becomes truth, a surrender shall must.
Reed stands up and walks toward the figure, he falls onto his knee and touches the ground with his forehead.
Reed inhaled deeply and roared out.
The hunters looked at Reed kneeling down questioningly. Rei then followed Reed’s move.
Rone followed and Rashef
With no other choice, the hunters kneeled and shouted in unison.
The figure stopped dead on his track and looks at them.
Reed carefully raised his head. His eyes widen as he saw they were transported back to the area where the onslaught happened. His eyes carefully panned over to the throne. He saw the figure sitting once again but this time with a spine-chilling grin itch to its face. The color drained from his face as he stared wide-eyed at the humanoid figure.
End of Chapter 4