Chapter 16: Ruin Depths
Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
Looking at the dust-covered ground, Rhode wiped the sweat on his forehead, feeling a little tired. Along the way, they had encountered about fifteen or sixteen Will-o-Wisps. If they were a five-man party, it would have been easy, but right now, there was only one person with combat ability other than Rhode. So, there was no way to conquer it like the usual dungeon raid like before. He couldn’t find a tank to help hold the aggro while everyone else would attack. Thus, he could only act as the bait and ask Lize to weaken the enemy with Healing Light before finishing it off himself as fast as possible. The Will-o-Wisp was at least a level 10 Elite monster, so even when its defense was weakened, it was still difficult to deal with. To make a critical hit, not only must he use Star Mark on his hand, he also needed to attack its vital points.
After all, Rhode wasn’t an NPC. Even in the game, to make such a high demand for the attack would consume a lot of energy. Not to mention that Rhode was using his true body right now. If it was in the game, he could still replay if he failed. But if he failed here, that would be the end of his life.
To Rhode, this kind of pressure was really hard to bear. He raised his head, looking at the fog that surrounded the ruins. And after making sure that there were no more monsters, he felt relieved.
“Mr. Rhode, how about we take a break for a while?”
Lize looked at Rhode with worry in her eyes. As a Cleric, she did not really understand what Rhode was trying to do, but she was able to feel his current pressure.
Rhode shook his head. Although he had cleared the monsters here, he always like there was something dangerous watching him. He studied his surroundings carefully, but still couldn’t figure out the where it was. According to his memories, they should not have reached the BOSS area, so there shouldn’t be an overly dangerous encounter yet. Moreover, he was very familiar with the monsters here, all of them should have been cleaned up already.
So where is this feeling coming from…?
Rhode looked around again, but he could not find anything abnormal. At that moment, the fat merchant suddenly screamed.
Rhode and Lize hurriedly turned around and saw Matt’s pale face. One of his hands was holding the bag, while the other one was slightly trembling, pointing towards the fog behind them.
“Just now, there was a black shadow over there…”
Lize looked at the direction Matt had pointed towards, but beside the dim light emitting from the fog, nothing else could be seen.
“Get on the ground!!”
At that moment, something flashed through Rhode’s mind; he finally understood what he was feeling previously. Then he shouted while pushing down Lize’s head down, forcing her to crouch.
Almost at the same time, a black shadow flashed through the air. Rhode could feel a cold claw brushing past his head, leaving quite a painful feeling.
Rhode’s heart immediately sank. He finally realized what was that ‘Black shadow.’ It was a Gargoyle!
In the legends, the Fog Ruins was once a lively and glorious town, but after the trade route was abandoned a Mage moved here to save his loved ones. He decided to study the forbidden death magic in this abandoned town. In the end, his spell failed, and the Mage also died. But the death magic did not stop there; it created a thick fog and hordes of undead monster.
In this dungeon, the most dangerous creature was the Gargoyle that was left to protect the Mage’s belongings. It was a level 15 Rare Elite monster!
If it was in the game, Rhode would have been very happy because the Rare Elite monster was—well, very rare. Even if he ran to the dungeon a few times, it was still almost impossible to see it even once. However, he couldn’t feel happy now since his opponent was a level 15 monster and even a flying one on top of it. Not only could it move flexibly, but it was also on a totally different level from the Will-o-Wisp because Lize’s Healing Light had no effect on it. Moreover, the Gargoyle’s body was extremely hard, an ordinary attack could only cause a scratch. This was definitely going to be a bitter struggle!
In the game, Rhode had run the Fog Ruins dungeon for more than thirty times but he still had never seen the Gargoyle, so he almost forgot about it. Now that he entered the dungeon with his true body for the first time but he already encountered it?
Is this considered good luck or bad luck?
However, Rhode no longer had time to complain because the danger was right ahead.
A head-on attack was useless since his level was less than 10. Challenging a level 15 monster was an almost impossible thing to do. Even with Star Mark, his attack was still limited.
He commanded without hesitation, then he grabbed Lize’s hand while running.
“Follow me! Lower your head and whatever you do, do not look up!”
It was impossible to escape now. The only way right now was to find the Gargoyle’s controller device and destroy it. Even though it was technically possible to escape from its attacking range, but looking at his team now, there was no one that could attract its attention without getting hurt. If only there was a Ranger or a Thief…
Lize and Matt kept their head down and ran forward. The fog around them also began surging. It was clear that their actions had also attracted the Will-o-Wisps’ attention; now there were even four or five Will-o-Wisps rushing towards them.
“Lize, cast Healing Light! Do not stop!”
Although casting the spell while running was not easy for her, but she still tried her best and stretched out her hand. Soon, streams of white lights swirled through the air and landed on a Will-o-Wisp, after which, Rhode quickly stabbed it with his sword. Then, with a scream, it turned into ashes and disappeared. A system prompt suddenly flashed in front of Rhode.
[EXP 1900/1800, Level Up, Level 8]
Unfortunately, there was no time for him to care about system prompts at this time because more Will-o-Wisps had appeared. Although their momentum had slowed slightly because of Healing Light, their advantageous numbers made up for this gap.
Compared to the Will-o-Wisps, the Gargoyle did not care about Healing Light at all. Although the Gargoyle was also a Dark Elemental creature, as the Mage’s Guardian, the Gargoyle’s outer body was made of stone, enabling it to resist most low-leveled spells. After it had failed its attack previously, it had immediately identified the target and chased after the three of them while waiting for the chance to attack. Rather than an undead who attacked based on instinct, an undead who had an AI was indeed more difficult to deal with.
Suddenly, Matt lost his balance and fell to the ground. The Gargoyle had been waiting for an opportunity to attack and immediately flew down. Its two sharp front claws were rushing to pierce the fat merchant. When Matt turned around, the only thing he could see was the shadow of it trying to tear his body apart.
Right at that moment, a faint golden light emerged from the air and blocked the Gargoyle sharp claws. After that, the light from the sword scattered and hit the Will-o-Wisps surrounding them. Followed by a loud flap, the Gargoyle flew back and crashed into a group of Will-o-Wisps. At that moment, Lize pulled the fat merchant up who thought that he was about to meet his family in the underworld and continued to run.
After avoiding the Will-o-Wisps’ “encirclement”, he raised his head and finally found his goal. It was an abandoned church, the place where the Mage did his experiments. According to his memory, the controller should be there.
But this place was, of course, difficult to enter.
When Rhode ran to the church entrance, he only saw darkness. He immediately activated Shadow Flash and dodged—at his previous position a second ago was another Gargoyle sitting on the ground, its claws were dug deep in the ground, crushing the green stone which he had once stood on.
Rhode cursed. At the same time, he quickly swept a glance and found that the Gargoyles on both sides of the church entrance had been missing. Of course, he could imagine where did they go.
He actually encountered two in one run. It seems like he won the lottery today.
“Both of you, quickly go inside and find the controller!”
He faced the Gargoyle while shouting at Lize and Matt.
“Those Will-o-Wisps won’t pursue the both of you; I will face the two of them. You guys take this opportunity and immediately go in. Find the control device, and then destroy it. Be careful of traps.”
“But … Mr. Rhode you…”
“This is an order!”
Rhode interrupted Lize coldly. He held Star Mark and slashed forward. A white light instantly appeared on its edge, causing the Gargoyles to scream as they flew up, escaping Rhode’s attack. But by doing so, they also opened the road leading to the church.