518 Rats Everywhere
The more they fought back the rats, the more the darned rodents adapted to their methods. It took only a few minutes before the rats started coursing around David and his skeletal forces.
The development didn’t escape him, and he tried repositioning many times, to no avail. The rats seemed to adapt, which shouldn’t have been the case.
‘Something’s different from before. But what?’ David thought.
He quickly adjusted his combat posture, going from a barricade mode to a hunting mode, and split up his skeletons in pairs, keeping the odd one out with himself. The death knight, which was slightly stronger than the last time he summoned him, was fine on its own, and he let it be.
But by doing this, the pressure on Alex and Kary went up a few notches, and even if they could kill the rats quickly, it wasn’t fast enough. They would get overrun fast.
Over thirty carcasses littered the ground soon enough, burned or torn to shreds, and there was no end in sight to the rat deluge.
Alex wondered if they had bitten off more than they could chew.
“David! How many of these are there?!” he shouted, across the mass of enemies.
“I don’t know! There shouldn’t be more than a hundred by this time! It depends on how long it’s been since they crossed over! But something is off! They shouldn’t be this smart!” David replied, impaling a rat at the same time.
Kary Chimed in from further back, shooting balls and rays of fire at any incoming rodent, sweat already dripping down her forehead and temples.
“What do you mean, only a hundred?! That is already an insane amount! Couldn’t you have told us beforehand?!”
David spun his bident, whacking away a rat midair that had jumped at him, before jumping himself and landing on it, piercing its throat with his weapon. The skeleton with him swung wide with its falcata sword, keeping the other rodents at bay as much as it could.
But the skeleton was already visibly affected, chips of bone gone from its legs and arms, as the rodents often teamed up on it. David knew his pseudo-army wouldn’t last much longer.
He could feel his connection to them wane with every passing moment, and time was ticking.
“Listen, I said something’s not normal! What are you blaming me for?! Take that anger and direct it to them, instead of me, you screaming sconce!”
A fireball hurtled in the air, barely whizzing past David’s face as it slammed into a rat burning its face off. David turned his head toward Kary, and she smirked angrily at him, wording ‘oops’ with her mouth.
“You fucking madwoman!” he blurted out.
“Hey! Focus, you two! We could seriously die here. Now is not the time to fight amongst each other!” Alex shouted.
As he did, he plunged his hands into a rat’s neck, tearing its head off from the rest of its body violently, as blood spattered across his face and chest. He was already a mess, with blood dripping from every part of him, so he had stopped caring.
David looked at him with a wide grin. Alex looked like an incarnation of war, blood dripping off of him as he tore through his enemies.
“Can’t you fuse with a stronger entity, like a demon, and pull that wolf out to help us, Wolfie?!” he shouted out.
Alex kicked away two rats with a roundhouse kick before responding to David.
“I can’t! If I do that, I won’t be able to fight for much longer! The demons take a shit-load of mana to meld with!” he shouted back.
David looked around, noticing most of the rats pouring out from the tunnel earlier were now surrounding them. But the tunnel was still full of rats, only they had stopped coming into the room.
‘What the fuck is going on now?’ he wondered.
The three of them slaughtered the remaining rats in the room in a couple of minutes and ended up staring back at the rabid rats which were at the mouth of the tunnel.
Alex and Kary walked over to David, flanking him while keeping their eyes on the rodents.
“What’s happening? Why aren’t they lunging at us anymore?” Alex asked.
David shook his head slowly.
“I don’t know… It’s creeping me out as well, to be honest,” David replied.
Kary looked at the rats, her flames sputtering over her hands.
“I’m almost out of juice. If we don’t end this quickly, you’ll end up with a burden instead of an ally.”
David wasn’t looking great either.
Two of his skeletons were in pieces on the ground, a few feet away, and the five others looking bad. Only he and the death knight were in top shape, if somewhat tired.
As for Alex, blood covered him from head to toe, making him hard to recognize. It was hard to tell if it was all the rats’ blood, or if some came from him, as some parts of his clothes looked rough, but he didn’t look in pain.
Truth be told, Alex succeeded in using a skill from New Eden, to protect himself from harm, but it didn’t encompass his clothes. Looking at him closely, David noticed the small, flickering blue layer floating just above his skin.
‘Mana skin. He made it work on this side already. Not bad.’
But the mana layer let pass anything that wasn’t considered harmful by its user. That’s why the blood had reached his skin.
The two sides of the conflict stayed in a staring contest for another minute, with no apparent change in sight. But change soon came.
It came about as rhythmic shaking ground.
David gulped nervously.
‘Please, not that. Anything but that…’
From beyond their visual range, a loud screeching echoed throughout the tunnel, and into the room they were in. It was so loud, the three of them winced in pain, as their eardrums shuddered in their heads.
“Fuck…” David muttered, his grip around his weapon tightening.