Ed gathered a little over 200 skeletons. There was barely any space left in the fortification so he had to stop gathering more. He opened up the barricade in preparation just like last time.
'This amount should be plenty' Ed nodded to himself as he thought back on things he could use.
Unfortunately, he already ran out of potions, The weird concoctions would have proved useful this time as well. His previous guests were also rather light on equipment. Apart from the weapons they carried, there wasn't much he could loot.
'Well at least I have more daggers...'
Given that he was unable to learn any Swordsmanship, Ed was still relying on his throwing ability. He now knew magic and although Earth Shot was a nice spell his lacking control meant he was just throwing chunks of rock and dirt giving it limited lethality. He also planned on preserving as much mana as possible since Earth Dome was a very consuming spell.
'It is the only spell I can fall back on as well' If his attacks were ineffective he could simply protect himself and retreat.
If he used a substantial amount of mana he could block the whole passageway using an earth wall instead. If he made it thick enough it could certainly buy him enough time to escape.
'There is no need to get nervous I have this under control' Maybe it was due to his confidence that the system didn't remind him to not run away.
Ed climbed atop a shelf just like last time while hoping to spot the enemy. After a few minutes something finally happened, it just wasn't what he hoped for.
'Something is wrong!' Ed Jumped off the shelf and ran in front of his skeleton armada ready to cast a spell.
The limited wind in the vicinity was moving towards one of the merging corridors. Extremely quick footsteps that could barely be heard over the howling winds followed right after.
'Too fast!!!' The speed at which the person moved was unimaginable. Had Ed not gotten used to unexpected scenarios he would have been thrown into panic.
The howling winds had now converged inside one of the corridors and a silhouette could be seen exiting said corridor. The silhouette held a glowing green blade that exuded an aura of ferocity. With their quick speed, the silhouette jumped off the ground and spun horizontally in mid-air while slashing out. A raging whirlwind quickly formed aiming at his direction from above.
Ed barely had time to cast a tall earthen wall amid the whirlwind's path to intercept it. But before he could figuratively breathe out in relief the wall was mercilessly cut apart without an ounce of resistance, the whirlwind acted as if the wall never existed in the first place as it continued raging towards him.
Eye sockets widened, Ed quickly cast the earth dome spell. A quarter of his mana was gone in one fell swoop. The earth shifted upwards as it tried to rapidly form a dome. The whirlwind however managed to near him before the dome was completely sealed up. The ravenous winds somehow rumbled the half-built dome back and forth before it crumbled into pieces.
The winds dissipated shortly after the clash but not before blowing back Ed and the other skeletons at the frontline. If his army was not undead they might have suffered serious casualties from that move alone. This was the third time Ed was hit by an unexpectedly strong attack, as such he recovered much more quickly than before.
All along the silhouette simply watched as the whirlwind collided with Ed's earth dome.
"You are stronger than I anticipated, a monster like you shouldn't exist in this dungeon" It was a calm yet commanding voice that spoke out amidst the rattling bones of the fervent skeletons.
Ed would love to say something in return but he shouldn't get on the dungeon's bad side again and any approach is off the table. He could only grimace at the thought of facing such a strong opponent.
Hurried footsteps echoed loudly from the direction in which the silhouette came.
"Samuel sir please wait for us!" It was the voice of one of the adventurer's party members, it carried a hint of exhaustion.
'I can't wait any longer!' Ed would stand even less of a chance if more people came.
although reckless Ed charged forward while casting multiple earth walls, he could uncast them as he approached them shielding him along the way. His mana would be consumed rather quickly but he didn't think this Samuel person would let him approach him so easily anyways.
Instead of chuckling at the futility of Ed's attempt, Samuel's expression turned serious.
"You haven't killed enough huh, keep on struggling" There was a tinge of anger as he said the last few words.
Samuel's sword was suddenly coated by a storm like blue mana, he did an overarching swing that released a gigantic yet thin wave. The tsunami-like wave washed away Ed's walls like it would a sandcastle. Ed who was running behind the many walls was hit by the aftermath.
[You've been dealt a direct hit! -168 HP]
[You've been dealt 25 damage. -25 HP]
[You've been dealt 14 damage. -14 HP]
Ed was washed away like a rag for a few seconds until the spell finally dissipated. He was further back than where he started, some of the skeletons were similarly washed away but killed.
'Is this dude some sort of disaster master?!?' Ed cursed inside his mind, the guy could definitely sweep him aside with little effort!
[Intercept trespassers to obtain a great reward, failure to act will result in a penalty]
That damn system was actually sending him to his death this time! Does it not know a better strategy than simply throwing monsters at its problems!?! Was it like 5 or something?!? Although Ed was angry he could only acquiesce, it wasn't like any of his strategies were working anyways.
'If I can't kill him I will just have to kill his other party members' He frowned upon the idea but he couldn't level up without killing some of them.
He let his eager followers dash into their death ahead of him. He doubted they could make a difference but he only needed an opening. He ran behind them while readying his daggers, he would throw them towards the new silhouettes emerging from one of the corridors.
Samuel However didn't let him out of his sight, Ed was taller than the others in the first place so he wasn't hard to follow. Samuel was secretly amused at the human behavior the skeleton showed, he wouldn't allow it to do anything though.
"I am running ahead, you guys hold them off the best you can" Samuel wasn't really worried about his party members as they could easily take out the skeletons.
Samuel instantly took off towards the approaching skeletons he did multiple wide horizontal swings that released a fearsome slash of wind. Each slash could crush as many as 10 to 15 skeletons. He was running towards Ed.
Naturally, Ed didn't miss those movements. He cursed out inwardly as he prepared to cast more walls except for this time he would use them to slow down his opponent. He ran forward while still concentrating on his walls, he couldn't skimp out on them or the slashes would still easily go through them.
Even so, Samuel's casual slashes cut through the earthen walls with ease. The walls still managed to dampen the damage however allowing more skeletons to live.
The adventurers behind him were easily dealing with any leftover skeletons even though more were now getting past Samuel.
'I need to do more if I want to get something out of this' Ed tried to wrack his brain for any possible solutions but they all seemed impossible.
'There is no other choice!' Ed's walls started to easily crumble as he purposely diverted his attention. Ed tried his best to do different motions and chants simultaneously, he wanted to bombard Samuel with Earth Shots.
Samuel had already reached him before he saw even an ounce of success, however. Ed abandoned his dumb idea and threw a couple of his daggers. Samuel nimbly dodged them and then cleanly sliced off Ed's arm.
[You have been dealt a clean hit! -93 HP]
'F*CK!' Ed knew the arm was just the start.
He had no way to defend himself. It was a split-second decision. Before Samuel could do a follow-up attack and cleanly slice off his head, Ed threw two daggers holding his final bit of hope.
Time seemed to slow down as the daggers were about to fly by Samuel, he was shocked by their trajectory as they weren't heading towards his direction. He realized what the skeleton in front of him hoped to do stopped his follow-up swing. Samuel tried to swat away the daggers but somehow the daggers managed to dodge his strike, he widened his eyes in surprise as he saw the daggers darting past him.
[<Thought Manifestation> is in effect]
[Adept Throwing has leveled up]
The daggers flew past the chaotic battlefield and hit two of the adventurers directly on their throat. Under normal circumstances, Ed could indeed hit the adventurers from this distance. His hits would not be so lethal or precise, however.
The one that was most shocked however was none other than Ed himself. To think he would find a use for the skill under such hectic circumstances!
Samuel was not willing to take that lying down, his anger hit an all-time high and his mana similarly gained a chaotic nature. That was the last thing Ed remembered before his consciousness left his body.
[Recalling Champion's soul]