Ed had finally returned to the fortification. He amassed a grand total of 165 skeletons! The amount was surprisingly close to 180, which was his hopeful estimate. He didn't go any further since he was afraid he wouldn't be able to return before the adventurers did. If he didn't come back in time and his army was decimated he would stand no chance by himself.
He was currently atop said fortification admiring his work. It was a way to reassure himself and distract himself from the looming threat.
[Assimilation is off cooldown]
'Oh, I was so busy I forgot about you'
Ed hopped off the furniture and went towards his bag. It was very difficult as the place was now filled to the brim with skeletons. He had left his belongings behind in order to move faster. He grabbed a heavy chunk of metal that he found inside of the lich's loot pile out of the bag and assimilated it.
[Assimilation on cooldown]
[Assimilation has leveled up]
Ed chose a metal ore since he wanted to increase his strength and constitution. He only received 3 attribute points for constitution but he was very happy with the result.
'That is an extra 300 health...'
He wouldn't be able to use his strength since he didn't have any strength-based combat skills. That being the case he would much rather become a tank.
'Now what should I do?' Ed was trying to find some other countermeasures.
But he couldn't think of any. Oddly enough though, Ed was not feeling anxious. Even though his defenses were poor he was not feeling anxious at all.
'Is it because of my skills?'
Actually, instead of feeling anxious he was for some reason feeling down. He couldn't quite shake that feeling of melancholy.
'Maybe it is because I decided to kill any adventurer that enters...'
It isn't like he had much of a choice in that matter though. If he denied the dungeons orders he would face a penalty.
'That damn penalty...'
Ed felt manipulated. And the worst part was that he couldn't do anything about it!
'These skeletons...' He shifted his attention to the only other possible reason for his sadness.
He didn't know how they moved or why they have any semblance of intelligence. But that they could move and think meant that in one way or another they were alive.
'Do I feel bad about it?'
He thought back to Kenny the overly eager skeleton before quickly shaking the thought away.
'This is why it was a good idea to not give them names'
He can't start to feel bad for his cannon fodder. It was impossible to save both the skeletons and himself.
'One of us has to live and I am afraid that has to be me'
[Mental Fortitude has leveled up]
Ed's emotions became more stable and he no longer felt down, whether that was for the best is yet to be seen. He shifted his focus back to the oncoming battle.
'I better move the furniture out the way'
With the low intelligence of the skeletons and the poor construction of the fortification, it would become a hindrance.
He ordered the Skeletons to move all furniture aside creating a grand opening in the middle.
He would use the opening to mob the adventurers.
Soon after they finished Ed climbed on top of a shelf to get a better look at the merging corridors. The place was quite noisy due to the many skeletons squirming around. He would need to spot his enemies if he didn't want to get taken by surprise.
Ed waited for a couple of minutes atop the shelf before finally seeing the intruders.
'They are here'
[Intercept trespassers to obtain a reward, failure to act will result in a penalty]
'Looks like I really have no choice' Not that he ever doubted it.
He pulled out the three daggers he owned as he saw the group of 4 people exiting from one of the corridors, they seemed to be arguing over something. Although the lights were extremely dim near the gate he was still able to inspect them.
Adept at both swords and magic.
Can cast spells.
Skilled with the bow.
Sneaky, cunning, and uses daggers to attack.
Ed hadn't seen such a useless deduction in quite some time. It may as well just say they can fight!
Ed didn't dawdle any longer, he commanded his army to move in on the intruders. Maybe it was due to the extremely faint lighting or their arguing but the adventurers didn't notice the skeleton army. At least not until they were already charging forward.
"Shut up and focus! Magician, buff me!" The magic swordsman was the first to be alerted.
He realized the situation was not good and immediately took action. He ordered the other two to protect the magician.
Ed was observing everything and analyzing what he was seeing. Perhaps it was due to the tense situation or his black robe but nobody saw him.
'Sounds like that magician is important'
Just as he thought finished that thought, the fierce skeleton wave assaulted the magic warrior. But things wouldn't be that easy.
Flames revolved around the young man acting as an impenetrable wall. All the skeletons that came in contact with it were charred or cremated. The charred ones were swiftly eliminated by his blade. It was clear that unless the man ran out of mana he would never be in danger.
The archer and the thief however were being overrun by the skeletons as they desperately tried to protect the magician. The magician cast a spell on the swordsman and his flames doubled in intensity. All the skeletons were now getting cremated.
'I need to get rid of him!'
The magician tried to cast another spell but before he could, a sharp dagger pierced his throat. Ed had a clear line of sight from atop the shelf and with his level 4 skill he couldn't possibly miss such an easy shot. The thief and archer could barely fend for themselves, how were they supposed to stop that attack?
"Damn it!" The thief became frustrated with the situation.
"HEY! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU ALL DOING?!?" The fire swordsman yelled as he couldn't see due to the unrelenting flames he created. If he stopped the flames he would be in a much more precarious situation.
His peers would also be in danger as currently, he was holding back most of the skeletons. The ones that were attacking them were the ones that managed to slip past him which was not exactly few either.
The magician died after a few seconds of struggling. Ed decided he would pressure the two weaker adventurers and then challenge the fire swordsman. He launched two more daggers at them which they both deflected.
'I guess they are wary of me now'
Since that was the case he could only face them directly. As a relatively lazy and easy-going person he never got into fights in his past life, he has no experience in them.
'But I have a strong body that could easily change the tide of battle'
In the current situation in which the archer and thief were barely holding on by eliminating the skeletons quickly if Ed were to show up and take as much as just one hit they would be totally overrun.
'Because I can take it' He dashed towards the battlefield at that moment.
He avoided the raging flames that had already destroyed nearly half of his army and charged towards the closest person, the thief. once he was close enough Ed threw out a punch which was easily deflected. The thief then swung one of his daggers at his neck, he intended to decapitate Ed.
[You have taken damage -20]
But what he failed to realize was that Ed wasn't like the others. With Ed's current attributes he could easily classify as a relatively weak C-class monster, which is while ignoring his skills and wit.
Since the strike didn't decapitate Ed, some of the skeletons managed to sink their blade into the thief's flesh. He let out a low grunt of pain before quickly eliminating some of those Skeletons. But that wasn't a good idea. Ed reluctantly took advantage of the opening, he punched out fiercely towards the head of the thief who was now distracted.
The strike from behind made the thief lose his posture and made enough openings for the other skeletons. They proceeded to mob him to death, their hatred towards the living was seemingly not small. Without the thief to handle some of the skeletons, the archer was similarly mobbed to death.
Ed simply looked away from the bodies and tried to convince himself that it was alright.
'Focus! This is a real battle!' He didn't have help from the lich, he didn't get lucky, it was a real battle!
He quickly took in his surroundings. The other skeletons were now able to try and attack the fire swordsman. The number of skeletons in Ed's possession had significantly dwindled, he could estimate the number of skeletons was as little as 50. He hurriedly shook away the thought and focused.
'There is no time to think!' The longer he took the more skeletons he lost!
Ed decided to charge into the fray to create an opening for the potion skeletons. He had yet to send them out as he highly valued the potions. He didn't need to use them against the other adventurers either.
'Let's see how good you are!' Ed put up a brave front as he headed towards the fire swordsman.