Morland: Blood and Sweat

Arise, A Dragon\'s Farewell

– FAR OUTSKIRTS, QUARIA –

Hielgan burst forth with incredible speed as he quickly recovered the lost ground.

The pursuit had gone on for several minutes, whoever had captured Shaemus must have been a formidable enemy to force him to run for so long. Hielgan followed Shaemus aura northwards towards the highlands on the outskirts of the kingdom of Quaria.

As he approached Shaemus location he noticed that the presence he had been going after had stopped moving, and to his surprise, [Presence-Reminder] immediately counted new presences in the location.

Why did they suddenly stop? He wondered.

Hielgan approached the area cautiously wary of any traps that might have been set up beforehand.

I sense more enemies nearby, this must be their base.

The enemy base was encamped near a cave slotted within the jagged hills, Hielgan could sense eight enemies with his ability. Shaemus aura was mixed up with two auras, while the rest of the enemies were in groups of three.

”This might take longer than I thought, ” Hielgan muttered to himself.

Hielgan saw the individuals and noted the familiar outfits, black hooded robes, a few from the groups carried staves in one of their hands. Hielgan could feel large amounts of aura spewing from the staves and a strange dark aura oozed from their bodies like pus from a rotten wound.

What are they? sorceresses? Hielgan wondered.

Hidden behind a large boulder, Hielgan watched from a distance as the pair that had captured Shaemus dragged him to the center of the camp and bound him with rope, it was hard for him to gauge their strength, however, since they had managed to capture Shaemus, they could be as strong as he was.

”You think they followed us? ” One of the sorceresses asked another.

”They killed Smud, so I can tell. ” The other replied. ”Either way, theyd be crazy to follow us down here. ”

One of the sorceresses let out a wicked cackle as they returned to their posts guarding Shaemus.

Damn hags, they are a complete opposite matchup for me. Hielgan analyzed his situation. If I make a wrong move, they will overwhelm me with their foul magic.

Hielgans father had taught him much about the various enemies that roamed across Morland, sorceresses and witches fought in a similar way, but sorceresses were more powerful since, above the curses they used, they also implored powerful attack spells against enemies.

Having dragons blood in his veins naturally increased his resistance, but the sorceress had spells capable of reducing an individuals resistance and slowing them down in the process.

Hielgan would have to take down each group without wasting a second, to do that he began to gather a massive amount of aura.

”What is that? ”

It did not take long for the sorceress to notice a large mass of aura emanating from an area in the caves, another sorceress appeared from another chamber within the caves she had a gray robe, and instead of a hood, she adorned her hair with a circlet with a black gem at its center.

”Bossie… ”

The sorceress scanned the area trying to pinpoint the source of her irritation before screaming out as though she was in pain, she suddenly fell to her knees as one of the sorceresses rushed to help her up.

”Bossie let me help… ”

”Leave me! ” Bossie exclaimed. ”How can you fools not sense the hideous mana filling this cave?! ”

”Mana? I didn feel anything… ”

Bossie pulled a wand from her sleeve and then quickly drew a magic circle with intricate patterns in midair, the sorceress next to her took a few cautious steps back and watched from a safe distance.

”Pores and cracks in the walls and the ground, look and listen for my enemies lurking around! ”

[Terra Augur]

The cave around the area seemed to twitch in motion, the sorceress went silent as though waiting for the ground itself to speak to them. Hielgan froze behind the boulder, the ability he had been using [Presence-Reminder] was beginning to sense several presences around the cave.

”What is this madness? ” Hielgan quickly deactivated [Presence-Reminder] to avoid being disarrayed. ”That damned witch! ”

”I see you! ” Bossie exclaimed as she looked directly in Hielgans direction.

Hielgan had not yet gathered enough mana, but he had been found out and the only probable action was for him to commerce with his assault before the sorceresses got a chance to ready themselves.

”[Sever – Iron Cutter] ”

Hielgan pulled his greatsword from his latch before it gave a crimson shimmer, the large sword was now enveloped in a thin coat of aura that would make it easier for him to cut through his enemies.

”Get him! ” Bossie screamed at the top of her lungs.

With that declaration, Hielgan rolled from behind the boulder and he noted that the greatsword felt light in his arm.

”[Sever – Iron Lashes] ”

Hielgan swung his greatsword around several times sending a barrage of pressurized airwaves towards the first group of sorceresses, the waves sliced into the three hags sending blood and bile splattering across the cave walls.

Bossie shrieked in pain then she yanked the robes of the sorceress next to her and pushed her towards Hielgan.

”Kill him! Kill him now! ”

The sorceress raised her stave and launched three balls of fire toward Hielgan, but he quickly jumped out of the way and charged the second group of sorceresses.

”[Rend – Ground Shaper]! ”

Hielgan jumped in the air and proceeded to slam the ground with his greatsword sending rolling waves of the earth at the second group of sorceresses.

The sorceresses tried to block the attack with a magic shield, but the waves of earth slammed into them and split apart on impact sending sharp shards of rocks at the group.

”Thats five down on my count, only three of you left. ” Hielgan gave a faint smirk as he walked towards Bossie and the remaining sorceress. ”Now give up and I just might let you live. ”

”What do you mean to give up? There are still four of us! ”

One of the sorceresses from the previous group uttered from behind Hielgan, unlike her colleagues she appeared to have escaped from Hielgans [Ground Shaper] unscathed.

”Your shield should not have worked… ”

”I did not need one. ”

Hielgan looked where the sorceress stood and noted the bodies of her comrades fallen in front of her, and his smirk immediately turned to a furious squirm.

”You used them… ”

That brief distraction was all it took for Hielgan to lose his advantage over the sorceresses because at that moment when he turned to look at the group of three in front of him, Bossie had already drawn a magic circle with her wand.

”[Withered ankles and shattered knees keep my enemy pinned so he can not flee! – Faded Blossom] ”

Suddenly another magic circle appeared beneath Hielgans feet and several hundred Larkspur flowers blossomed and immediately wilted right in front of his eyes.

”Why do I feel weak all of a sudden…? ” Hielgan stuttered weakly.

Bossie fell to her knees again and coughed up a puddle of blood then she smirked at Hielgan with a bloody grin, Hielgan did not know what had just happened with the sorceress, but he could feel a sudden increase of mana from her presence.

”All that mana you gathered belongs to me now, ” Bossie cackled away believing she had overcome Hielgan. ”Now you die! ”

The four sorceresses gathered in one spot and then pointed their staves at Hielgan.

”[Flames of Scarlet – Multiple Bolts of Fire] Loose! ”

A large magic circle appeared vertically in front of the four sorceresses, tongues of fire began forming on the circle and immediately shot out towards him and exploded on impact.

”Gah..! ” Hielgan took a step back, shocked at how hot the flame burned on his skin. ”I got burned? How? My fire resistance should- ”

”Now you get it, ” Bossie chuckled. ”Fire! ”

Soon hundreds of fire bolts came raining down on Hielgan, Bossies initial spell had not only sapped a large amount of mana and stamina from Hielgan but also reduced his resistance to the elements significantly.

Tch, I don think… I can last any longer…

Hielgans knees began to creak beneath him and before he could react to regain his stance, he suddenly lost his footing as he stumbled backward he heard a voice call out to him.

”Hielgan! ”

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