A fiery blaze roared past.
Then, an explosion erupted among the undead, sending waves of searing heat spreading in all directions. Anything the flame touched instantly turned to ash.
Marlene retrieved her hand; she could not remember how many undead she had already annihilated. However, never in her life had she been so exhilarated when casting a spell. Every wave of her of her hand would eradicate hundreds of undead. It gave her that awesome sensation of 'I can destroy anything!' She had seen her teacher wield the same kind of power, but the magic she used were high-level spells that Marlene couldn't cast. Now, Marlene was basking in the same sensation as her teacher; the only difference was that she was using a basic low-level spell.
Meanwhile, other than Marlene, the other Clerics also immersed in their role. Under Rhode's guidance, they launched Divine Brilliance one after another, sweeping its Holy Light to every corner and weakening the undead. Marlene, Rhode, and Sereck would then take advantage of their vulnerability to kill.
Old Walker stood in the middle of the group and shouted in several directions from time to time, pre-empting the group of which direction the undead was approaching from.
Anne also revealed her reliable side.
At the corner of her eye, she saw several skeleton archers launching a volley of Bluefire arrows towards them.
Anne swiftly reacted.
The shield on her right hand extended as she dashed to one of the Cleric's side. She lifted her shield in a timely manner and blocked some of the Bluefire arrows. Then, she spun around, twisted her body and threw her shield into the air.
The large, thick shield spun in the air, circling into the sky in an arc which swept away most of the arrows which were falling towards them. After that, the shield automatically circled back to Anne, who caught it easily with her right hand. The huge impact only made her lose a balance slightly.
Rhode didn't summon his spirits. In this place, the undead's strength relied heavily on their numbers; their individual strength was nothing at all. But if it was 'him' before, he might have to struggle quite bitterly here. Now, with the help of everyone, things have gotten much easier. After being suppressed by the Holy Element, the undead were as good as chicken sent to the slaughter. As they say, why use a sword to kill a chicken? Rhode didn't plan to waste his precious Soul Power on small fries.
Anywho, how did that Victorious Wine leader cross this treacherous path with his group?
If not because of him receiving the exact location from the survivor, he might think that he was bragging. If it was just a lone thief, perhaps it might not be too difficult to leave this place, but bringing a group of people? That was a whole different matter altogether. Still, Rhode thought that those were plainly lucky to be able to cross this place.
Unfortunately, good luck couldn't always stay with them.
"To the left!"
Rhode took out his sword and pointed in that direction. Everyone immediately turned around. He didn't pick the shortest straight line between two points because he knew that this prairie was a battlefield, and in the center, there were stronger types of undead. No, it wasn't just those skeleton archers or death knights, Rhode was referring to the spirits that had turned into magical beasts! Rhode didn't want to provoke these creatures unnecessarily which was why he chose to circle around the center. That way, he had a lower chance of attracting the beast's attention.
No one spoke, even Sereck. Everyone quickly turned around, Anne switched her position from left to the right while the Clerics also moved to another location under Lize's leadership. During the change of formation, the Clerics had to suspend casting Divine Brilliance temporarily, causing the Holy Element to diminish slightly. At this moment, a horde of undead rushed over from the darkness and pounced on the group.
A sword flashed in the darkness.
The flash of light formed a wall of swords, and when the undead clashed into the wall, all of them completely stopped moving. When the light disappeared, what was left on the ground were incomplete corpses.
Sereck's mouth twitched as he retrieved his sword.
His admiration of Rhode grew even further. He had no choice but to admit, Rhode was much younger than him, yet he could command the mercenaries to fight with such efficiency with his experience. In the beginning, he thought he was going to utilize the same method again to deal with the undead, but halfway through, his way of fighting changed all of a sudden.
Sereck thought that Rhode would yell at the Clerics to cast Divine Brilliance, but he was wrong. Instead, he dived right into the horde and dealt with the stronger undead which could pose a threat to the Clerics, leaving the less threatening ones to the rest.
It wasn't as though Sereck hadn't thought of it; rather, it was that he couldn't make such a brilliant decision and micromanage his assets in the midst of the battle. Unlike him, Rhode seemed to be familiar with every class. He made the right decisions and commands at the right time. Thus, the group could understand his orders loud and clear. Sereck could even feel the dissatisfaction from the Clerics gradually fade away as they tried their best to complete their role.
Now, they were already two-thirds through their journey.
"Hey, the four of you. How long more can you hold out?"
Rhode said as he stared at the dark forest that was in the near distance.
"I can still cast at least four more Divine Brilliance."
"Probably three more times?"
"I still can cast four to five times."
Hearing their answer, Rhode frowned. The speed was too slow. It was no surprise though, after all, there were only five Clerics... that number was clearly insufficient to overwhelm the countless undead.
"Everyone gather! We're going to rush in! Pay close attention to your surroundings — Anne, prioritize the Clerics, don't let any of them fall behind. The four of you! Wait for my command and watch where I ask you to aim Divine Brilliance. Now... three, two, one... RUN!"
Upon hearing 'run,' everyone quickly sprinted and followed Rhode as closely as possible.
After the Holy Element field dispersed, the undead which were formerly suppressed, suddenly regained their agility and immediately chased after them. They rushed towards Rhode's group in all directions. A few of the Clerics couldn't keep up and looked back at the undead who were quickly catching up. Fortunately, Lize and Old Walker kept an eye on them, so they weren't left behind.
A white flash of light swept around the undead horde four to five times consecutively. The undead which were nearby were forced back by Rhode. His sword sliced off an undead warrior's head that was blocking his way, then he flipped his sword and swung it forward. Followed by a sharp, whirring sound, a silver light emerged from Rhode's sword which enveloped the battlefield in an instant. In a blink of an eye, a large number of undead were immediately shredded, leaving a huge, blank space in the middle of the battlefield.
Meanwhile, Marlene's spell was finally complete. A condensed magic phenomenon gathered around the tip of her wand; at first it flashed, then it soon formed into a terrifying hurricane.
The hurricane cleared another huge bunch of undead that barred their path. For a moment, the undead could only stare at the terrifying magic torrent which suddenly appeared. Taking advantage of this opportunity, Rhode finally made their way to the edge of the prairie — which was the meeting point.
"Enter the forest, quick!"
Rhode stopped and pointed towards the dense forest. While the darkness within the forest didn't appear safe, it was at least much better than being chased by waves of undead.
However, not everyone had Rhode's stamina and speed.
A Cleric slipped and fell to the ground. When the another Cleric saw her fall, she also quickly stopped advancing and moved back to help her. But she didn't expect that her legs would give way as well. From the very beginning, these Clerics weren't suited for extreme physical activities. Having walked for such a long time and facing several hours of high-intensity battles, these Clerics were already at their limits.
"Quickly!! Get up!"
Sereck who was following close behind them hastily turned around and formed a sword barrier which blocked the undead from advancing. He didn't have any other way to deal with the endless undead while protecting the four Clerics.
"I-I can't stand up!!"
The Cleric who fell shouted in a trembling voice and began to cry. She could see that the undead were almost upon her, and although her survival instincts told her to stand, fear ultimately caused her legs to disobey her will. The girl panicked and used her hands to force herself to crawl forward. She wanted to get away from the undead even just by a little bit...
At this moment, a rotten hand suddenly emerged from the ground and caught her leg. In another direction, the undead finally broke the barrier and dashed forward.
When the two of them screamed, a shadow suddenly appeared.
Anne dashed forward like a cheetah. She expanded her shield and smashed into the undead like a train. Meanwhile, on the other side, a red sword pierced through the darkness and cut in a straight line. The hand which held the Cleric was immediately sliced in half. At the same time, Rhode's voice bellowed.
"Lize, remove the spell!"
The white light immediately disappeared.
Everything turned into darkness.
The undead also disappeared.
Since the beginning, everything had gone smoothly... until now. Still, Rhode felt relieved. He lowered his sword and looked around.
"Are you guys okay? Is anyone injured?"
The two girls that had almost died were trembling as they held each other tightly. They had never been so close to death before; it was as though they would die once they closed their eyes.
"Anne is very energetic! There's no problem!"
"I'm fine, I'm not injured."
"Can the both of you stand up?"
Although the darkness hid their expressions, judging from their hesitant voice, Rhode could already guess the answer.
"Mr. Sereck, you and I will take care of one."
Saying until here, Rhode bent his body to carry one of the girls. This made her startled, but Rhode didn't care.
"We must leave this place immediately. The journey ahead is still long... we can't afford to delay any longer."