114 Chapter 60: Fight Outside the Hill and Learning about what“s to come
The loud rumbling sound was coming from a pathway not too far away from where Joshua and Lilly were standing and he could see dust and dirt start to fill the hole of the entrance. It wasn't blocking the way, but it was making it hard to see what exactly was happening on the inside of the place. Joshua sent out an aura pulse so that he could get a better view of what was happening and immediately noticed a group of six adventures running for their lives as several large creatures were chasing after them. The people were tossing bombs and other hindering tools behind them to slow down the stampede worth of creatures chasing them and that was the reason for all the dust and dirt floating out of the tunnel.
Luckily for the group they were able to make it out of the tunnel in time as they rushed over to gather up with the rest of the people that were standing around with their weapons ready to defend themselves. Joshua also pulled out his scale blade which got looks of awe from all the people that noticed him hold the large and obviously heavy weapon with just one hand easily. He didn't flare his aura just yet since he didn't want to alert everyone to his abilities at the moment.
Lilly on the other hand had her hair turn a smoldering black shade that seemed as if it was on fire with the flakes of bright red that were scattered throughout it. She was synchronizing with Cinder so that she could use her fire magic to do some damage to anything that decided to come out of the tunnel. She held her staff a loft and it started to burn bright red with black tendrils as it matched Lilly. Tank stood in front of her and she hopped onto his back for more safety. Cinder on the other hand went for a different approach that shocked everyone in the surroundings.
The giant spider that they all had thought was dangerous because of its aura and size suddenly started to grow even bigger and towered over everyone in the area. Her aura started to leak out a bit in her excitement to fight causing the area around them to grow a bit hotter, but it wasn't nearly as obvious as it had been before when she couldn't control her aura at all. She let out a challenging shriek that caused several people in the area to back away from her in fear until they realized she wasn't focused on them which got them to turn their attention back towards the tunnel.
For a while things were quiet until everyone could hear the clattering of footsteps from a large group coming from the tunnel and then a large crashing sound came from in front of them as the pathway was blown open by several large ant like creatures forcing their way out of the tunnel. None of them were around the size of Cinder, but they were all around the same size as the beetles from the forest. The difference was that they didn't stay in pairs of two or three, but instead came out of the tunnel in a swarm like fashion. There were hundreds of the creatures and they were rushing towards the people in a furious motion.
Each of the ant like creatures had heavy armored bodies with two large mandibles out front prepared to tear into anyone that came to close to them. When Joshua observed them he noticed that every single one of the ants was a three star which meant they were going to be a challenge for a lot of these explorers. When he looked at their faces he noticed the fear in some of them from the large amount of enemies, but others seemed used to the situation and were preparing to fight as if this was a normal thing. Some of the tanks from the more experienced groups charged forward to block off the ant stampede. The knights started setting up barricades with a shielding ability similar to the one Joshua had seen Jayce use. While any other types of tanks would pull the agro of any of the ants that made it past the barricade.
All the ranged fighters started attacking the ants caught up by the barricade while melee fighters charged over and killed any of the ants that were being held up by other tanks like berserkers or heavy swordsmen. Joshua and Lilly just watched all this happen to see how things would unfold for a while to get an idea of how other explorers fought, but when it seemed like the front line of knights were starting to get pushed back they decided to join the action. Joshua charged ahead first and used his large scale blade to tear through any of the ants that were in his path. Although their exoskeletons were sturdy, the force behind Joshua blows along with the weight of his weapon smashed through them after a couple of hits which usually ended in him smashing and ants head in.
Lilly started sending fire balls into the crowd of ants in the same manner as the other mages in the area who sent all sorts of attacks to hinder the ants. Her fireballs were far more powerful than the usual ones since she was synchronized to Cinder and had her high stats that were powering up her spells. She used this to her advantage and started taking out any injured ants with a well-placed fireball. Lilly's and Joshua's efforts gained the attention of everyone and they were shocked at how easily they were able tear through the ants, but things only grew even more surprising for them when Cinder started to take front stage.
Cinder leaped over the line of knights at blinding speed and smashed away any of the ants that dared to come closer to her. Her aura alone was suffocating for them and some of the smarter ants at the back started to flee back into the tunnels since they knew they didn't stand a chance against such an opponent. The less quick thinking ones were immediately left to dry as Cinder started giving off large amounts of heat that pushed them back and burnt them whenever they got to close to her. Then she shot out large amounts of webbing to cover the area and several of the ants in the process. This trapped them all and kept them from being able to avoid her next move.
Cinder rose up to her full height and looked down at the ants beneath her that were squirming and struggling to get out of her web. She let out a loud shriek before spewing a large amount of smoldering smoke that she mixed with some fire magic to make it even more powerful. The attack swept over all of the ants burning them alive in a quick fashion. The ones that survived being outside of the range of the attack ran back towards the tunnel and escaped Cinders wrath. Well except for a few that she chased down and injected with venom before putting in a cocoon to eat for later.
All of the people in the area just stared at the scene before them in awe of the creature's strength. A lot of the people had faced against fairly strong boss monsters in the past, but none of them had ever seen a creature with such a variety of attacks and was able to use them in such a coordinated fashion. This made some of the less brave people around look at Cinder in fear, but the others just seemed happy that she was on their side in the fight. Once again Joshua noticed the latter type of people seemed to be the same ones that were veterans in training around the ant hill. It was as if they knew something that others didn't know and Joshua thought it would be best to find out what from some of them before they went inside themselves.
Cinder shrunk down back to a more manageable size as Lilly walked over and put away the cocoons so Cinder could eat them later. The large spider seemed a bit excited after the fight and Lilly had to walk over to calm her down a bit alongside Tank who seemed to chuckle at Cinders antics. Watching the scene Joshua thought that if everyone here was surprised by what Cinder could do then they might just piss themselves if they saw how large and powerful Tank would become in a fight. Especially if Tank started talking through his aura to everyone, Joshua doubted many people had run into beast with the ability to speak at this point in time.
Swinging his scale blade to get any bits of ant off of it with a short flare of aura that was too brief for anyone to notice. Joshua holstered his blade before walking over to Lilly. "Well Cinder seemed a bit eager to show off." Joshua said with a smile.
"She can't help it, she is a child after all. She'll learn to be more conscious of these types of the situations in the future." Lilly said with a smile as she could feel Cinder's emotions of happiness from being able to help. Joshua could sense it as well so he walked over and gave the large spider a few pats on the head as well.
"At least we didn't show off what Tank can do for the most part. We've got an annoying guild around that might be a pain in our asses if we aren't careful." Joshua said as he looked in the direction of the members of the Raider's Guild. They were among the group that seemed a bit afraid of Cinder. Joshua noticed that for the most part the members of the Raider's Guild didn't actually help out all that much in the fight. Some of their long range user stole some kills from afar before Cinder came along and finished the rest of the ants off, but their tanks and close range fighters just stayed near their long range attackers.
Before Lilly could respond to Joshua's statement another man walked over to the two of them, followed by a few people. Most of them were the Knights that stood up front during the fight, but there were a few others that decided to join in. "Hey, haven't seen you two around here before. It seems you can handle yourselves well though. That giant spider of yours made quick work of the ants." One of the knights said as he looked towards Cinder who surprisingly wasn't agitated with the group coming over. Apparently having Lilly and Tank there to soothe her made things easier. "Hell the giant turtle can probably do the same if I were to guess…well anyways thanks for the help."
"No problem, we were planning to check out the place a bit when the stampede happened." Joshua said getting a nod from the knight and some of the others. "Is that a regular thing around here? It's our first time coming this far into the forest."
"It happens from time to time. Though it's not as dangerous as it looks. Any ants that come pouring out of the ant hill do to a stampede are usually the weaker ones." The knight explained getting the attention of a lot of the newer people in the area. "Strong ants won't leave their nest. They know guarding the place is more important than chasing prey all the way outside. The ones we faced were basically worker ants that come out from time to time to get food and supplies for the nest."
"Makes sense, they did seem a bit too weak to me." Joshua said while Lilly nodded with a smile. A lot of the new people in the area looked at him like he was insane for calling beast weak, but then they remembered how easily he tore them apart on his own without using any types of skills or magic. Someone that could do that had to be strong in their eyes. "Well anyways thanks for the information. I think we're going to head inside ourselves now. Might as well check things out before another problem occurs."
"Be careful in there, you're strong so I'm not too worried about you guys surviving, but anyone else that's new here better get themselves a group. Ants aren't the only thing you have to worry about in this place." The knight said while looking over towards the members of the Raider's Guild. Joshua nodded at that before he headed over to another entrance to the ant hill with Lilly, Tank, and Cinder right behind him.