The Sword Saint's Second Life As a Fox Girl - 4-59 Sacred Purge
It was rare for Erin to feel the grasp of terror and despair truly but the consecutive explosions occurring in the distance sent a chilling shiver down her spine. After all, those explosions happened in the city and a few of these explosions were very close to the Grove where the Aeryon Estate was.
“No… It can’t be… Has the Covenant already finished its exodus?”
Erin snapped her gaze back to Darius with a furious glare but she was disgruntled to see him lying on the ground, unmoving. There was no rise and fall of his chest.
[Experience gained +5% – Level Progression: 45%]
The notification she just received ascertained the death of Darius, dispelling all of her doubts about it, though it wouldn’t have been a different story if it was a full-fledged Demon.
“Damn it…” Erin muttered with her fists clenched. She was now standing at a crossroad of perplexity. She calmed her quaking nerves with deep breaths, something that she hadn’t done for a long time, not even during the moments when death was inches away from her. She did not fear her own death but the death of the ones she cared about.
Erin swept her surroundings with her gaze. She found nothing but ruination. The cave of tunnels was no more but mountains of rubble and debris now. What it had been was all buried under the destruction caused by Darius’ petty desperation. She couldn’t even see the bodies as they were probably more than six feet under.
She cast Sense Life and found a group of survivors underneath all the rubble and debris. It didn’t take her long to recognise the group as the Ruvan Paladins and the Venerers. She thought about helping them but remembering Lucan’s character, she decided against it. He would definitely put the blame of this outcome on her even though she was just a victim like them.
Just as Erin was about to take off sprinting for the city, she was stopped by remembrance and also the lingering august sensation brought by the Exalted Spirits. The vault of Lady Sephrodia was most likely open now. Erin recalled the vast array of treasure and trinkets she stumbled upon in the other vault. Knowing Lady Sephrodia’s story, this vault was also either a treasure trove or it could be the prison where she held the men she was obsessed with but couldn’t bear to part with.
Erin had no desire for the treasure but she was concerned about the vault falling into the wrong hands. However, the sight of mere debris and rubble that spread on for yards assuaged her worries. Unless one had the ability to sense Spirits, no one would know the existence of the vault. Darius had just inadvertently made the vault even more hidden from the world due to the cave’s collapse he caused.
“It’ll be fine,” Erin said to herself. “There’s probably nothing but ostentatious gems and gaudy garments in the vault anyway. It’ll be fine if I just leave it be.”
As if mocking her incorrect conjecture, the whole area of debris and rubble was suddenly assailed by a tremor and Erin was assailed by an acute dread. The violent quake raced through the ruin, echoing from a certain spot. With Erin’s heightened senses, she quickly traced the quake to the source.
At the same time, the Ruvans finally dug their way out of the debris and rubble. Expressions of relief wrought their faces but only for a fleeting moment. The quake doused their triumph and they all donned a dark and sour look once more.
“Oh, what is it now?!” Lucan grumbled. He had been so close to seizing a Demoid of an executive rank instead of another rank and file thrall but the accursed Demoid caused a collapse and buried everyone, including himself, under more than six feet of dirt and rocks. Lucan survived and so did his subordinates. No one was gravely injured. However, it didn’t change the fact that they were humiliated.
Their misfortune did not end there. As soon as they got themselves out of the blunder, they were immediately greeted by another quandary. It was a tremor.
Lucan scoured his surroundings as the quake gradually came to a halt. He found only destruction no matter where he looked and saw no trace of Darius, but he did perceive the one individual he was the least happy to see. “Oi, Fox-kin!” he shouted. “What’s happening? Where’s the damn Demoid?”
Erin barely gave Lucan a glance and focused her attention on the source of the fading quake.
“This damn fox… Erynthea! I’m asking you here! Answer me! Where’s the Demoid!?”
“Dead,” Erin answered dryly without turning her head.
“Dead? You killed him?”
Erin was silent. Her gaze became focused on a certain spot.
“Sir, shall I have her brought here?” Saril asked with a scowl directed at Erin who didn’t even seem to acknowledge her presence.
“No.” Lucan shook his head. “I will do it myself,” he said and drew his rapier as he trod towards Erin. In his stride, another quake swept through the ground. It was a short tremor but it was strong, strong enough to make Lucan lose his bearings and trip. Fortunately, he had his rapier to support him from falling.
“Sir, something’s happening!” shouted a Paladin.
At his subordinate’s heed, Lucan noticed the spot where Erin was gazing at. There was a rising mound and it continued to grow and grow as if the debris and rubble were water and something was about to break through it.
“What in the name of Ruva…”
The mound exploded and a gigantic ethereal Golem emerged from the ruins. The paladins and the Venerers immediately assumed their battle stances, and so did Lucan.
Erin, who was standing the closest to the Golem, had a liberal posture. She stared at the twenty-feet tall Golem with an unperturbed gaze. “This must be the guardian of the vault—” She then squinted her eyes and frowned. “—or not,” she added.
With a closer inspection and the use of Appraisal, Erin realised this thing was not the guardian. Faces of various people were embedded all over the body of the Golem and all of those faces looked to be in anguish or distress. Through Appraisal, she understood this Golem is the amalgamation of all the souls of the men Lady Spehrodia imprisoned out of obsession and greed.
“Of course…” Erin sighed. “Of all possibilities, this one has to be the prison vault. Just my fortune…” She brandished her spell sword and raised it overhead, a cyan sheen streaked through the blade.
But before she could swing it down, Erin stooped down abruptly at the beckon of her Sixth Sense. A hideous Wraith with a seemingly mutilated appearance sprang out from the ground and lunged at her. Since she was already hunkered down, the Wraith missed her and ended up tossing itself right into her awaiting blade.
[Experience gained +5% – Level Progression: 50%]
“Only five? Well, at least it’s something,” Erin complained in her heart. “It is an Undead and it was only level forty-two.”
“By the divines! Where are all these Wraiths coming from!?” cried a paladin.
A Venerer immediately cut at the nearest Wraith with his sword but it passed right through the Wraith. “Impossible! Hallowed Steel has no effect on these wretched abominations!”
“Be careful!” Saril shouted. “These aren’t normal Wraiths.”
The formation of the Ruvans rapidly descended into a disorder at the sudden emergence of the Wraiths along with the unnerving Golem. They were trained warriors of their Divine but even they could not keep their composure with the abrupt appearance of these strange and sinister enemies.
The Wraith nearest to the Ruvans pounced at the group but a golden glowing blade cleaved it into half in its leap.
“Do not fear, brothers and sisters! Ruva is with us!” yelled a Venerer with a shaved head. “Use Holy Edge!”
The paladins regained their morale and quickly cast Holy Edge on their weapons.
“Casters, prepare for the Sacred Purge now!” Lucan yelled.
“Yes, sir!” the caster-paladins shouted affirmatively in unison and began casting the spell, Sacred Purge. They formed a circle and held the hands of the ones beside them as they began to utter a long chant.
“The rest of you, protect the casters!” Lucan continued giving out orders.
There was no hesitation or objection. They heeded Lucan’s orders without a delay. They assumed a formation of a circle with the casters within their alignment.
“Sir, what of the Fae?” asked a paladin.
“Leave her be,” Lucan retorted begrudgingly.
“Y-yes, sir…” the paladin nodded with concealed reluctance.
Meanwhile, Erin was engaged in a battle against the incessant onslaught of the Wraiths while also dodging the Golem’s attacks. Thankfully the Golem was slow but not slow enough for her to slice off its annoying arms that were tormenting her with its opportunistic blows. Coupled with the Wraiths’ volley of assault, Erin came close to taking the Golem’s arms but always resulted in mere shallow cuts.
The Wraiths did not shower Erin with an abundance of experience but that was only if she counted the experience individually. The Wraiths emerged in droves. Even if one of them gave only a paltry sum, the amount rapidly ascended into a bountiful volume. Erin didn’t have the luxury or leisure to look at her stats but she was absolutely certain she had gained a level.
[Erynthea: Level 47 increased to Level 48]
[Skill Points gained +2 | 2]
[Ability Points gained +2 | 2]
[Level Progression: 20%]
She swore she could almost hear a melodious ring in tandem with the increment of her level. Or maybe it was just her wondrous thinking of this golden opportunity hidden under an impediment. She was cursing inwardly when the Golem and the Wraiths appeared but after discovering the Wraiths were easy to slay and they were plentiful, Erin’s bitter tenor was overturned with sweet delight.
[Experience gained +5%]
[Experience gained +5%]
[Experience gained +5%]
The Wraiths just kept coming. They were truly relentless and incessant but so were Erin’s blade and resolve. She cut down all that came for her. Erin began to wonder if these were all Lady Sephrodia’s lovers that she couldn’t bear to let go. Even if Sephrodia had boundless lust and greed, it was impossible for her to accommodate these many lovers at a time unless she was changing lovers every hour or she partook in them a handful at a time.
“A handful at a time…” Erin scoffed in her mind as she decapitated a Wraith.
[Experience gained +5% – Level Progression: 100%]
“And I’m the Apostle of Lust. Damn you, Nyx. You sure do love your shares of irony.”
[Erynthea: Level 48 increased to Level 49]
[Skill Points gained +2 | 4]
[Ability Points gained +2 | 4]
[Level Progression: 0%]
The Wraith’s head slid off its neck and as its body collapsed, it faded into nothing long before it hit the ground. Erin reeled in her blade and prepared for another assault but it never came. A few seconds went by but no more Wraiths appeared. However, Erin couldn’t breathe easily just yet. Her attention shifted to the Golem just as its fist was once again thrown at her.
“Now’s your turn, you blob,” Erin growled under her breath and flipped onto the Golem’s fist just as it struck the ground where she had been standing. Her brows were raised in faint incredulity. “Huh, you looked ethereal but you’re corporeal. How eerie.”
The Golem looked at Erin strangely but its rage was apparent in those hollow eyes of its. It swung its other fist at Erin.
She conjured up another sword with Bespoke and twirled on the back of its hand as the fists were only a few feet away from her. In the next moment, both of its hands fell off its wrists. A queer, long, and hollow screech emanated from the Golem’s mouth.
“Rest in peace,” Erin muttered and swung her sword, throwing an Aura Shot empowered by Mystic Blade, but the projectile of her blade’s intent never hit its mark.
The Golem fell apart. It crumbled like a dilapidated building that was finally giving in its age but the difference was that the Golem wasn’t perishing. It was dispersing, disassembling itself into a swarm of Wraiths.
Erin widened her eyes at the fifty or so Wraiths in front of her, maybe even double of that amount. “I don’t have time for this…”
At that moment…
“Sacred Purge!” the three caster-paladins shouted at the sky in unison. A large golden circle of inscriptions appeared above them. A barrage of golden stakes rained down upon the area from the golden circle, engulfing the vicinity in a flood of dazzling golden radiance.