Chapter 161 – Mist Conversion
The Wall of Clouds gathered together proved that Mana was gathering at an astonishing speed. The Waves of Calamity’s influence was becoming more and more apparent. Brendel could hardly breathe when he looked at the Lernaia Hydra, and it was not simply because of the pressure that was emitting from it.
[Even a Projection means that this thing is level 120 and above. It’s beyond mortal means.]
He and Orthlyss did not speak, but both were pondering what they could do to escape this difficult situation. The youth looked around and discovered a huge boulder not from away. He inhaled and exhaled once to regulate his breathing. It was not the first time he faced a dangerous situation that was significantly past his levels to handle things.
[Calm down. Consider the chances of avoiding the Hydra’s line of sight if we hide under the boulder. There’s no reason why I should be afraid even though there’s only a single chance to get it right. Like breaking past Madara’s Fortress Nirui, or the Dragon Nest War. As long as each step is done perfectly—]
Brendel regained his former self. The blood of the old adventurer started burning in his body.
“Wait here, Scarlett,” he said.
He inched his way onto a nearby gigantic tree that was thick with foliage, and started crawling on the thick trunk like a lizard while ensuring that none of his body stuck out from it—
“Boy?” Orthlyss did not expect Brendel to be so bold.
“Hiding in this place isn’t a solution. I doubt that creature will be leaving any time soon. It looks like it has discovered something. Perhaps Veronica and Mephisto are still alive.”
“What is your plan?”
Even though it was impossible for anyone else to hear her voice, Orthlyss lowered her voice subconsciously.
“I want to get over to that huge boulder and hide behind there, then see if there is any way to make use of the environment and escape. I think moving three or four miles away will be enough. The Lernaia Hydra probably will not be able to detect our movements.”
[That’s quite the distance to escape from, are you confident?]
Orthlyss wanted to ask him those words, but she did not utter those words in the end. It seemed like the youth had made his decision, and his determination was blazing in his eyes along with a streak of adventure. This side of Brendel was one that she had not seen before, but she liked it more than the steady and rational Brendel.
Brendel ceased his chatter and moved across the tree with slow careful grips with his fingers. He did not dare to breathe heavily, and he felt like there were eyes watching his back. Even though the weather was clearly cold and dry, perspiration still formed on his forehead. It took him several minutes to reach the first thick branch that was the size of a human’s waist, and he waited a full minute in the same position without moving.
His heart drummed in his ears.
Finally, he relaxed and drew out a rope from his bag in his belt, tied it around the branch then lowered it down to the ground. Scarlett was peeking from the pothole from time to time, and she soon saw Brendel gesturing to her. She climbed up and reached to where he was.
“Do not make any sound regardless of what you see later on. Got it?” Brendel warned her. “Alright, look past the trees and up into the sky.”
He trusted in her judgment, but he should prepare her at the very least. The girl nodded hard in response and looked up. At first, she did not see anything, before she suddenly realized the mountain that she saw was moving, and her eyes shook as though a stone was thrown into a lake.
But as promised, she did not make a sound, and Brendel gave a thumbs up as praise.
Still, it was only the beginning. The thick branch had vines growing around it, and he tested them out slowly to see if they supported his weight. He made his way across the branch, ensuring that he made the least possible noise by pushing each finger into the right spots. Even though it was only twenty or so meters, and the distance could be covered in the blink of an eye if they ran for it, they had to crawl and stop every few seconds, making it feel like the ordeal lasted an eternity.
The Lernaia Hydra turned around from time to time, its body moving slowly, but the tail that swept past the trees and over their heads made them tremble.
When they crawled their way to the giant boulder’s shade, they felt like their bodies had lost all strength. Brendel’s back was completely drenched with sweat. He was affected more by the Lernaia Hydra because he knew how terrifying its power was.
He gave a long sigh.
He glanced at his surroundings. The trees gave pretty good cover and there were not many open areas. He considered the north mountain ridge. Walking through the valley in that area would be enough to avoid the Hydra’s eyes. The distance was less than two miles, and was nearly half of his original plan.
[But the halfway point is a little troublesome. We have to cross the mountain’s stream and the shrubbery on both sides might not be enough to cover us. It will become very dangerous for us…..]
Still, he decided to go on that path after weighing the pros and cons. It was not a good thing to be indecisive on a battlefield, and not being confident of himself meant that the battle was already half lost.
He might not be the best gamer out there, but he was still a top tier warrior in the game.
It took another thirty minutes before the Lernaia Hydra started to walk away and moved towards the valley, with fifteen heads in the clouds searching for something. Brendel counted for a full minute before he gestured to the girl beside him, and the two dashed out away from the monster as fast as they possibly could.
The Lernaia Hydra still did not look over to their side. Even though it appeared to be moving slowly, it was definitely an illusion.
If the creature moved more than a hundred meters in a single step, the slow-moving disposition it seemed was a mere concept.
Brendel’s target was a forest of hornbeam trees that grew near the rivers. Their related family was the best cover for hunters in the mountains, and it was also effective for laymen like them. They were silent throughout their way, except for the moment where Scarlett accidentally crushed a dry twig, and both of them reacted like they had stepped on a mine.
But instead of turning around, the Lernaia Hydra discovered something at the other end of the valley. Fifteen dragon heads roared at the same time, and it moved further into the forest.
Soon enough, its fog-like tail swung across the forest.
[Veronica, or Mephisto? In any case, I wish them luck.]
He dashed even faster with Scarlett following closely behind. The two of them entered a row of dense vegetation which extended to a nearby stream’s smooth pebbled ground.
Both were a little fatigued as they went near the stream that was just ten feet away. At their current physique, they should not feel tired because they merely ran slightly more than a mile, but the high amount of stress seemed to make them spend their stamina greatly, and it made them feel like there was a great burden on their shoulders.
Brendel glanced back at the Lernaia Hydra several times. The distance between them was three miles apart. Even though the mythological creature seemed like they were far away from each other, it was definitely within range to reach them with a few steps; the tail alone looked like it was a kilometer long.
[This thing isn’t possible for mortals to fight, at least not for people in this era. For the gamers, it’s probably the equivalent to the evil dragon boss during the Dragon Nest chapter. No, now is not the time to think about the past.]
He clapped his face to wake up from the dreadful hunting moments in the War of the Dragon Nest. Each of its dragon heads was darting to and fro above the clouds, waiting before they attacked separately, each from a few hundred meters to a mile apart.
[It’s impossible for Veronica or Mephisto to run such a long distance in an instant. Does this mean there are other people nearby?]
He moved out of the bushes, but he suddenly sensed something approaching him from the left at great speed and tried to shift his body away. However, his reaction was clearly slower by a beat as he felt his shoulder being grabbed onto by a force, and he was pulled back into the bushes.
“My lord!” Scarlett was shocked to discover a hand reaching out and grabbing Brendel back into it, and she subconsciously pulled out her dagger that was on her boots.
It was a familiar face.
One of Veronica’s hand was on Brendel’s shoulder, while the other held onto a sword and it was already pointed at Scarlett’s heart.
“Lady Veronica?” The first reaction Brendel had when he saw who grabbed him was surprise. He did not forget that he lost three important characters from the Kirrlutz Empire, and he also knew that at least two young noble lords had been killed by the Mistress of Withering Decay.
“Shut your lips.” The Goddess of Combat’s expression was solemn. She glanced at the monster that was far away and pulled Brendel deeper into the bushes: “If you want to live, stay in the bushes!”
Brendel looked curiously at her before he realized something. He turned his head to look at where Veronica was looking and found a mist from the monster’s body expanding outwards that slowly filled the forest.
[Mist Dispersal! I thought it’s some kind of magic projection from the Hydra, but this looks like it’s not the case. This monster isn’t the Lernaia Hydra but some kind of Law, or a creature’s Element Power surrounding the Loop of Trade Winds. The creature that the Druids discovered is actually this…… fog thing. The mist that’s now covering the forest now is some kind of surveillance method.]
The youth understood that Veronica saved him. If he left the bushes, he would be immediately discovered by it.
[Come to think of it, I haven’t asked Scarlett why she and Veronica appeared together.]