The hunters shifted their gazes onto Reed.
Reed clenches his wound hard.
‘Nothing happened… N-nno I-it can’t be…’
‘Did I g-guess it wrong.’
Suddenly, the room began to shake, the statue in the middle of the altar shone in a bright, menacing red color. The once still and silent statue suddenly came to life, its eyes glowing with an otherworldly intensity as it turned its gaze toward them.
The hunters took a step back, unsure of what was happening. Suddenly, all of the other statues in the room began to move, as if they were panicking. Their arms flailed wildly, their eyes wide with terror.
“What the hell!”
Lea screamed with a commanding tone.
“Everyone!! Form a circle!!”
Everyone did as they were told and formed a small circle.
Their Front, back, left, and right was secured.
The hunters were frozen in place, not knowing what to do. In the midst of all the chaos.
The sounds of stone footsteps filled the area, the more they ran the more Reed's ears hurt.
He pushed through the pain as he gripped his weapon very tightly.
Lea's eyes darted across the room and saw the statue in the middle of the altar, once so calm and serene, was now hurtling towards them.
The statue moved with lightning-fast speed, its stone limbs striking out at the hunters with deadly precision. The sound of rocking footsteps and metal clashing against stone echoed through the area as they fought back with all their might.
“It’s so fast..”
The panicking statues are making it hard for them to fight properly, and the dust that the statue were leaving is making it hard for them to see.
The statue jumps up and attacks but the hunters from above, the hunters dodged breaking the small circle formation.
A cloud of giant dust covers their peripheral vision.
Lea gripped her staff very tightly.
‘Our formation was broken, we better regroup.’
As she was pondering, the statue outreached its hand and attempted of attacking her stomach. Lea quickly spotted it and guard her unprotected stomach.
The statue’s eyes glow brightly and fainted its real intention is to strike her right arm.
A brutal strike from the statue’s arm sliced through her right arm. She screamed in agony, blood pouring from the wound.
Lea stumbled back as the statue lunged forward, its sharp stone arm slicing through the air toward her. Lea dodged quickly, she gritted her teeth in pain as she wield her staff with her remaining arm. The statue swung its stone arm which sends Lea sliding across the room.
with a loud thud against the wall, Lea spat out blood through her mouth. The statue once again stood looking at Lea with the intention to kill.
The statue once again raised its arm and swung it, aiming for Lea’s vulnerable form lying on the ground.
Just as the statue was about to strike, Reed leaped forward and used his body as a shield to protect the Lea. The statue’s arm slammed into Reed, sending him tumbling to the ground with a cry of pain.
Lea’s lips bobbled up and down. She wanted to scream his name but couldn’t really summon forth his own voice.
The statue walks towards Reed.
Lea tried to crawl faster to catch up with it. But the statue was already looking down at the unconscious Reed.
It raises its hands preparing to slice Reed, but before the statue could attack again, a Kaley burst into the dust weapons drawn
The statue whirled around, its eyes glowing with a malevolent light as it faced this new threat.
As Kaley rushed in, she drew her bow and fired arrow after arrow at the statue. The arrows seemed to have no effect as they bounced off the statue’s stone-like skin.
“Tch, if that’s the case.”
Kaley then switched to her sword not long after another hunter joined in the fray. It was the big hunter Rule
Rule cast an enchantment onto her sword while the other buffed himself.
They exchange a quick glance and nodded.
The two of them dash forward attacking the statue. The two of them fought hard, using all of their skills and weapons to take down the statue. Kaley’s sword clashed with the statue’s stone fists, sending sparks flying. Rule used his shield, and slammed his axe into the statue’s leg, the statue quickly deflect the axe and kicks Rule.
The statue fought back fiercely, swinging its arm at the hunters, knocking them off their feet. While they fight, Lea took this as an opportunity to crawl toward Reed.
Lea gritted her teeth as she clutched her wounded arm, her blood pooling beneath her. She couldn’t fight the statue, but she could still help. With her good arm, she crawled towards the unconscious Reed, hoping to heal him in time. Meanwhile, the hunters who had rushed to their aid were engaged in a fierce battle with the state. He swung his axe with all his might, but the statue was relentless, dodging and parrying their attacks. Every blow they landed seemed to do no damage whatsoever, and the statue kept coming at him with a ferocity that made them wonder if it was truly just a stone figure.
The two hunters could feel their strength waning as they fought.
“This is unreal, this may be one of the toughest foes I ever fought in my life.”
“To think it was a stone statue.”
They both catch up their breaths as they observe the statue’s movements.
“I’ve got a plan..”
“What is it.”
“Seeing you have a shield, what if we both rush it.”
“But, it would just jump out of the way.”
She points at her back pocket, there he saw an arrow.
“An explosive arrow.”
“So, what do we do.”
“First of all, let's attack it first just to confuse it. While confusion that where we execute our plan.”
The hunter nodded.
With a look of determination both of their eyes, they both rushed toward the statue. Swords and stones collided sparks flying everywhere. Both of the hunters attack nonstop. The hunter raised his axe and brings it down with force.
The statue looks up and blocks it. The hunter smiled he used his shield and punch the statue.
They managed to damage it a bit.
The statue jumps back.
Kaley signaled Rule, he nodded and put the plan into action. With a roar of defiance, he lunged forward, aiming to bash the statue. But the statue seemed to anticipate his move, however, and dodged to the side, causing the hunter to stumble.
Rule let out a smile.
‘It took the bait.’
Kaley who hid behind Rule, reveal herself with a bow and two explosive arrows.
She fires it and landed directly at the statue.
Rule raised his axe and swung it in a wide arc hitting the statue which sent the statue flying across the room.
The two hunters wiped out their sweat.
“Did it we kill it.”
A moment of silence passed until two red glowing eyes were seen in the clouds of dust
Rule once again lunged forward, aiming for the statue’s head. The statue anticipated his move, however, instead of dodging it. It grabs the axe.
There it began its counterattack, the statue raised its arm and punches Rule, luckily he managed to bring up his shield. The force of the impact broke half of his shield and made him lose his footing.
As he struggled to regain his footing, the statue lunged at him, its eyes flashing in the dim torchlight.
Kaley barely managed to block the blow, and she felt her arms shake with the force of the impact.
The hunters jump back.
They knew that they couldn’t keep this up forever - sooner or later, the statue would land a fatal blow.
Meanwhile, Lea had finally reached Reed. She places her hand on Reed’s forehead and closes her eyes, focusing her energy on his wounds.
The wounds on Reed’s body begin to glow as the healer's magic takes effect. The bleeding slows down. However, Lea is still weak from her injury, and her healing powers are limited. She could feel his heartbeat slowing, and she knew that time was running out.
“No! I won’t let you die!”
With all of her strength, she channeled her energy into him, willing him to live.
Meanwhile, the two hunters are still struggling to fend off the statue. Its attacks are relentless, and they can barely keep up. They dodge and parry its blows as best they can.
The hunters start to get exhausted, their movements becoming slower and clumsier. The statue, on the other hand, seems to be getting stronger, its blows becoming more powerful and precise.
“If keep fighting like this, we will end up dying sooner or later.”
The statue moved with surprising speed and agility for its size, and its stone body seemed impervious to any damage the hunters could inflict. Every punch and kick the hunters landed only seemed to chip away at the statue's surface, doing nothing to slow its relentless advance.
The hunters were getting tired, their limbs heavy and slow as they fought. Their attacks were becoming less coordinated, and more desperate as they struggled to keep the statue at bay.
But the statue was not slowing down. Its movements were precise and efficient, its strikes always finding their mark. It seemed to have an almost supernatural awareness of the hunters' movements, anticipating their attacks before they even made them.
“We are sitting ducks in here.”
“Tch! I know, but fighting this thing is the only way to go. We can’t go outside because of the horde out there.”
“So, it’s either be killed or kill right.”
“Well in that case.”
Rule stood at ready with his axe and half-broken shield at ready.
“Got a plan?”
Kaley ponders for a moment.
‘The statue doesn’t seem to be damaged, our attacks like paper to it. It kept on absorbing all of our attacks with ease.’
‘And it quickly adapted our fighting style with ease.’
‘Not to mention.”
She looks at her back and saw Lea healing the unconscious Reed.
She clicks her tongue out of frustration.
She panned around the area looking for clues and answers on how to beat this thing. But her vision is blocked by panicking statues around them.
‘Dammit! I can’t see around because of this chaos all around me.’
She looks at her arrow, and her eyes widen.
‘If that’s the case….’
Rule looks back at her.
She gave him a confident smile.
He smiles back in response.
“I’m assuming you’ve got a plan .”
The female hunter smiled.
“Well, in that case, spit out.”
With their plan in mind, they quickly sprang into action.
Rule took a deep breath and charged forward, his axe aimed at the statue’s chest. The stature raised its arm and swung down with a mighty force, but rule managed to deflect its attack just in time. He rolled to the side and leaped back to his feet, ready to strike again.
The statue was quick, and it lunged forward with a speed that surprised him.
He barely managed to deflect its blow with his half-broken shield, the impact sending a jolt up his arm. He staggered back, his arm throbbing with pain, but he refused to let it slow him down.
‘If I reacted slower, I would probably die.’
‘That attack could end me in one move.’
He looked at his now broken shield.
‘Tch, it’s do or die now.’
He threw away his broken shield and readies his axe.
With a shout, he dashed in close, his movements fluid and precise, and began to deliver a flurry of strikes against it. He aimed for the joints, hoping to weaken its balance, but the stone proved too resilient. His axe bounced off harmlessly, and the statue retaliated with a powerful kick that sent him sprawling.
“Holy shit, if that kick managed to connect I would be dead!”
Rule scrambled to his feet, his heart pounding with fear and adrenaline. He knew he couldn’t take many more hits like that. He circled around the statue, searching for an opening, and he noticed a faint crack in its left knee. He grinned, realizing that might be its weak spot.
‘I got you now!’
With renewed determination, Rule charged in again, this time aiming for the left knee. But the statue was quick on the uptake and spotted where Rule aimed to hit.
Rule shouted and swung his axe at the left knee of the statue, but it effortlessly dodged and retaliated with a swift kick that sent him crashing into a nearby wall.
Kaley rushed to his side, helping him to his feet.
“Is it done?”
With a nod, the two hunters go to work.
Rule charged back into battle. The statue was relentless, its attacks precise and deadly. Every punch and kick sent shock waves through the air, making it hard for the hunters to stay on their feet.
Rule released a flurry of strikes faster than before, the statue had no choice but to dodge and block his attack. Rule once again looked at the statue’s left knee, the statue saw it and prepare its attack. But this time, without hesitation, he instead charged forward and pushed the statue with all his might, sending it stumbling towards Kaley.
Kaley let out a grin, as she was been preparing for this moment.
“Here’s the plan, distract the statue long enough, while it’s distracted I will run around the area to set up traps.”
Due to Rule’s exhaustion, he could only nod at the simple plan.
“Well, it’s better than nothing.”
While Rule was fighting the enraged statue. Kaley was busy setting up traps.
Kaley has prepared two types of traps, one for the enraged statue and one for the panicking statue.
With that in mind, she quickly began to work.
She quickly activated the magic trap she had set earlier, a complex spell embedded in her arrows. Her arrows appeared as a shimmering circle on the ground, and as the statue stepped into it, it let out a deafening screech.
Their plan worked, the state seemed frozen in place, its limbs locked in a strange position. Rule and Kaley looked at each other, panting heavily, and realized that they had a moment of respite.
Rule’s knees weakened and sat on the ground.
They took advantage of the moment, catching their breath and assessing their injuries. While they took their break.
Reed slowly opened his eyes and saw Lea’s pale face healing him.
His voice was but a whisper. Reed’s eyes opened wide as he saw Lea’s body slowly losing consciousness.
“Your…. awake, thank…. goodness-”
Lea’s body flops to the ground.
He tried to get up, but the pain in his body made him stop. he ignored the pain and quickly sat up.
He looked at Lea’s tired body, her breathing was rather shallow.
“Hang in there.”
Reed knew he had to act fast if he wanted to save her. He closed his eyes and focused, channeling his magic to heal her wounds.
As he heals her, he felt his own energy draining away, but he persisted. He healed her but to no avail, he felt like he was about to pass out again.
He looked around trying to find something that could help. His eyes then fell upon his backpack, which was lying a few feet away from him.
He crawled towards it, taking small, painful breaths. As he reached the backpack, he frantically searched through it, his finger fumbling through the items until he found what he was looking for a small vial of healing potion.
Reed wasted no time and quickly crawled back to Lea’s side. He held her head up gently and slowly poured the potion into her mouth. Lea’s eyes fluttered open.
“Reed,” She whispered weakly. “You’re awake.:
Reed smiled weakly.
She smiles weakly.
Reed breathed a sigh of relief and looked around. He saw Rule and Kaley catching their breaths and making their way toward him and Lea
‘Did they beat it?’
“Is she okay?”
Rule asked, looking at Lea with concern.
“She’ll be fine. I managed to stop her bleeding for a moment.”
Kaley came up to them, looking exhausted.
“That was tough, we better come up with a plan. Judging the strength of that statue, that trap won’t hold on much longer.”
She said, wiping sweat from her brow.
Reed nodded in response. She knew that they had to act fast before the statue broke free from the trap.
“Y-Yeah…” Reed said to Lea, trying to lift her up.
Lea winced in pain, “I don’t know how much more magic I can use.”
As the dust began to settle, they were greeted by the sight of dead hunters and trapped statues.
“That statue killed them off quickly…”
Reed clenched his fist in frustration.
‘If I had been stronger, none of this would happen.'
‘I could have prevented the death of Mr. Rone.”
He knew that they couldn’t afford to lose Lea. She was their only healer, and they were already at a disadvantage without her right arm.
‘We’ll find a way to get out of here, just hang on.”
He said, trying to keep her spirits up.
As he was trying to think of a way to help Lea, he noticed that the trap barrier was starting to crack.
Rule and Kaley looked back and saw the barrier beginning to fall apart.
They quickly rushed back to the trap, their eyes widening in horror as they saw the cracks in the barrier.
“We have to act fast!” Kaley said, her voice urgent.
Rule nodded, his eyes focused on the statue that was slowly breaking free from the trap.
“Let’s give it all we’ve got.”
He said, his voice determined.
As the trap barrier broke down, the statue emitted a powerful aura that send shock waves throughout the area. The hunters could feel their bodies trembling with fear and exhaustion as they looked at it. Its stone eyes glowed with an otherworldly light, and its stone hands crackled with energy.
The hunters huddled together, each one struggling to catch their breath. They knew that they were no match for it, not in their current state.
“This is bad…”
The statue slowly stepped forward, its movements fluid and graceful. It seemed to be taunting them, daring them to make a move. Rule clenched his axe hard, his heart pounding in his chest. He knew that they had to do something, anything, to stop the statue before it was too late.
Kaley stepped forward, her eyes fixed on the statue. She held his bow in front of her, ready to fire her final arrow. But before she could begin to fire, the statue moved with lightning speed, its stone hand striking her across the face.
Kaley fell to the ground and broke her neck. As Kaley fell to the ground lifeless, Reed and Lea were frozen in fear. They had never seen the statue move so fast, let alone be able to take down one of their own with such ease.
Rule gritted his teeth, his body tensing with anger. He knew that they had to act fast before the statue could strike again. He lunged forward, his axe raised high. But the statue was too quick, and it easily dodged his attack. With a quick swipe of its hand, it sent Rule flying across the room.
The statue’s eyes glowed an eerie red as it turned to face the remaining hunters.
It walked toward the two injured hunters with the intention to kill.
Out of nowhere, Rule was back on his feet again, charging towards the statue.
He raised his axe overhand and violently bring it down with great force. But the statue was quick, it dodged out of the way and pierce his chest with its left leg.
Lea screamed as she saw one of her comrades being killed right in front of her eyes.
As the statue pulled its left leg out of Rule’s chest, Reed and Lea stood frozen in terror. The statue’s eyes glowed with an eerie light as it turned to face them, its twisted mouth contorting into a cruel smile. It began to walk towards them slowly, relishing in their fear.
Their feet were frozen locked to the ground as they saw the statue kill the two hunters with great ease.
Lea’s voice quivered as she spoke to Reed.
Desperate, Reed quickly scanned the area, searching for any possible way to escape it. He knew they couldn't take the statue head-on, not after it had defeated two skilled hunters with ease
‘There is got a be a way to survive this….’
He tried to recall his loops, but none of them showed this exact scenario.
“Lea, we need to get out of here,” He whispered urgently to the one-armed healer beside him. “Can you use your magic to make us invisible or something?”
Lea shook her head weakly. “I’m a healer and I don’t have any magic left.”
Reed gritted his teeth.
‘Then we’ll have to try something else. Those two hunters died fighting this thing. We need to be smart, we need to think outside the box.’
As the statue drew nearer, Reed’s mind raced, he supported her with one arm as he backed away from the advancing statue, keeping his eyes fixed on it.
“Come on, you piece of rock.” He muttered under his breath. “Follow me.”
Reed intentionally backed up to the door where they first entered. he pushed the door open with his back slowly.
Lea nodded weakly, her face pale and her breaths coming in short gasps.
As soon as they were out of the room, Reed quickly grabbed Lea and yelled, "Follow me!" as he sprinted towards the entrance of the blue-torched room, with the stone statue in hot pursuit. The statue swung its stone arms, narrowly missing them as they ran.
But, in order to escape, Reed chooses to bet on this plan. Even if it failed he plans to sacrifice himself in order to save Lea.
As they emerged into the corridor, Reed spotted a familiar landmark it’s the blue torches lining the walls. He gritted his teeth.
The statue followed, its eyes fixed on Reed and Lea. As they ran down the hall, they could hear the statue's heavy footsteps following close behind. Reed knew they had to keep moving, but he also knew that they couldn't outrun the statue forever. That's when he remembered the horde of monsters they had passed on their way to the blue-torched room.
Reed veered off to the side and ran towards the monster-filled chamber, hoping to lure the statue into their path. As they approached the room, the sounds of snarling and hissing grew louder and louder.
Reed smiled in triumph.
Reed skidded to a stop as they entered the monster chamber, Lea barely keeping up with him. They quickly ducked behind a nearby pillar, panting and trying to catch their breath.
Suddenly, they heard the statue's heavy footsteps approach, and the sounds of the monsters grew louder as they sensed the presence of a new intruder. The statue walked into the chamber, its cold, lifeless eyes scanning the area.
As the statue drew closer to the center of the room, the monsters began to swarm around it, attacking it with their claws and fangs. The statue swung its fists, smashing into the creatures and sending them flying. But the monsters kept coming, swarming over the statue like ants on a sugar cube.
Reed and Lea watched from their hiding spot, amazed at the ferocity of the monsters. As the statue fought for its life, Reed knew they had a chance to escape.
He motioned for Lea to follow him, and they snuck around the edge of the chamber, staying as far away from the battle as possible. Finally, they reached the other side of the room and disappeared down a darkened hallway, leaving the statue to fight for its life against the horde of monsters.
Reed supported Lea and started running back to the blue-torched room, they didn’t stop running until they were far away from the sound of battle. They ran quickly but quietly back to the room, the sound of battle had faded into the distance. They slumped against a wall, panting heavily.
“That was close,” said Lea, her voice barely above a whisper.
Reed smiled wearily.
“We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re alive. Let’s catch our breath first and figure out our next move.”
Reed and Lea knew that they couldn’t stay in the room for long, as the statue might find them eventually.
END OF CHAPTER 9.