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79 The Draugr falls?

 Chapter 79

"So, 'Pinky' is the man pulling the strings," Dave muttered to himself.

this guy is a pro, a good strategist and leading figure, but I can't think of a way to eliminate him, at least not for now...

Dave looked at a timer in his display, 22 minutes before the legion was due to arrive at the bridge.

" Delvina is holding the guildies here, they aren't going to reach the Flag in time. I'll just go back to the temple, there's nothing I need to do here."

One of your Death Knights has been slain!

"Huh? That can't be right."

He looked around at his Knights and counted, "...9-10, they're all alive."

Then the thought hit him like a thunderstrike. Dave turned, looking back toward the temple.

"SHIT! Rogues!"

"DELVINA! Their rogues infiltrated past us to the Temple! I'm going back!"

Delvina roared back at him, "GO! The King's army is near!"

Then she started killing players even faster, giving herself to a fit of madness.

Her HP had dropped below 50%, Dave knew she probably wouldn't make it.

Dave ordered five of his ten Death Knights to stay and support Devlina with their troops.

He ran as fast as he could with the other five Knights through the tunnel, heading for the Temple.

Dave's mind was spinning.

He should have thought of this, been ready for it. With [Invisibility] and [Stealth] skills, rogues, thieves, and assassin classes could easily bypass a battlefield and infiltrate deep behind enemy lines to sow chaos. Or reach strategic objectives.

It was damned fortunate he'd left the other ten Death Knights on standby near the Flag. Otherwise, the territory would have been lost without a whisper of warning.

It took only a handful of minutes at a full sprint to reach the Temple cavern.

As he neared the tunnel exit he heard sounds of battle, the thumping in his chest increased.

Dave breathed a sigh of relief when he exited the tunnel and looked toward the Temple. The Undead Realm Flag was still flying over the Temple.

Hundreds of assassins surrounded the Temple. But their stealth was already broken and they were being held back by his Death Knights and their troops.

Watching the Undead holding their own against the stealth class players, Dave wondered how the guildies had killed one of the Death Knights.

They probably focused all their stealthed attacks on one Knight.

"Surround and attack them!" Dave ordered the five Death Knights he'd brought from the bridge.

The Undead Knights and their troops swarmed out and enveloped the guildie positions and attacked from long range.

Then the Death Knights, followed by their Captains, charged. Their power increased by their rage at the enemy's proximity to their flag, they tore into the rogues' formation.

The sound of swords and metal echoed, players, shouting and yelling at each other, trying to regain momentum and reorganize to meet the attacks from the new foes.

In just a few minutes the fight was over, the last rogue dying at the ax-swing from a Death Knight.

The Undead howled thunderously in unison at the defeat of their enemy.

That was close. I should probably stay here, the guildies will know what happened soon enough. And they will try something else.

...

At the bridge, Delvina's final thread of Undead vitality was cut by Warlord's Legacy Great-Axe.

He looked at the timer. Less than 15 minutes for the quest to be completed.

"Valentine, we have to move. Rush the Flag!" he said

"Agreed."

"DEVASTATORS! Regroup and heal up!

As he finished speaking, Valentine turned to see the Blood Rage guild pouring from the tunnel and rushing at them with expressions of savage glee on their faces.

"What is Zhang Shi up to?" muttered Warlord.

Valentine's eyes widened.

"WARLORD! TAKE THE FRONTLINERS, GO FOR THE FLAG! GO GO GO!

"ALL DEVASTATORS, ADVANCE TO THE TUNNEL NOW. "

Warlord didn't hesitate when he heard Valentine. He trusted him unconditionally.

"A-GROUP! WE'RE GOING FOR THE FLAG! MOVE!" bellowed Warlord on the guild's battle channel.

Professional players, they didn't question orders in battle, they ignored the remaining Undead, running through them and into the tunnel with all possible haste.

Without Delvina the Undead became less organized, they wandered about aimless and picked random targets to attack.

"What's going on Valentine?" Warlord asked as they sprinted through the tunnel.

"Blood Rage. Our spy network found out they already sent a group of assassins for the flag. But their attempt failed, so they abandoned their siege of the towers and sent all their members to attack the flag, I wouldn't be surprised if they even attack us."

"But aren't we making it easier of them? If we charge in we will lose more players, we are not even fully healed up. Hell, I'm at 20% health!"

"When we reach the cavern exit, I'll form a defensive line and hold the Blood Ragers. You continue into the cavern with half our forces to take the flag."

"Val, can you take Zhang Shi?" asked Warlord.

"One-on-one, no. But I can slow him down. You have to deal with the Undead and take the Flag. One other thing, I saw the Draugr on the bridge, if you can't take the flag, at least take him down!"

"He's here? Yeah, I got it. He's a dead-man-walking."

The Devastators broke through the unorganized Undead defending the tunnel exit and immediately split into two groups. One group stayed to hold the Blood Ragers at the tunnel entrance and the other rushed toward the temple.

An imposing figure in ornate red ceremonial robes approached the Devastators' defensive formation.

"What is the meaning of this Valentine?"

It was Zhang Shi. He had easily fought through the undead at the head of his guild.

"Oh, hullo Zhang Shi, fancy meeting you here. We're just watching our guildies' backs, holding the line.

"By the way, a little bird told me you sent a unit of stealths to take the Flag. Too bad they failed so miserably."

Zhang Shi's face expression began to turn an apoplectic red.

Valentine shook his head, like a disapproving parent, "Incompetence, it's easy to blame followers, but I think it always starts with the leadership, don't you agree?"

"So. You found out about that little maneuver. Obviously, there are traitors in the ranks. No matter, they will be found and weeded out."

Still red-faced from Valentine's taunts, Zhang Shi, turned back to his guildies.

"Blood Rage! Take them! We're done playing nice!"

He turned, and with his Blood Ragers backing him up, charged the Devastator's.

'It's all up to you now, Warlord,' thought Valentine as he prepared to receive the Blood Rager's charge.

***

From his position at the Temple, Dave saw several thousand Devastators rushing madly toward his Undead.

"Crap. This is going to get nasty. Ten minutes. We just have to hold for ten minutes!"

"Death Knights, hold the line! Archers and casters, FIRE AT WILL!" he roared and took a position with his battalion.

The players charged the Undead heedlessly, crashing into the Death Knight ranks.

At the bridge, Delvina had organized her forces in a solid defensive line. Dave tried to mimic Delvina's shield-wall tactic, but his formation crumbled under the Devastators attack.

The tactic had worked for Delvina because she had a numerical advantage.

Adventurers rushed through the holes in the formation and wreaked havoc among the Undead.

Dave started accumulating Contribution points like mad from all the adventurers dying at the hands of his minions, however, his troops were falling even faster.

One of your Death Knight has been slain!

One of your Death Knight has been slain!

One of your Death Knight has been slain!

Time was ticking away and Dave's army was barely holding.

"Shit, we're not going to make it at this rate," Dave muttered after doing a quick estimate.

"Retreat to the temple area!"

The Undead slowly made their way to the temple, holding the adventurers at the stone steps leading to the entrance. Behind them was the grand doorway that leads to the central hall of the temple, where a green flag stood in the very center.

A frightening voice roared at Dave, "SKELETAL!"

Warlord had spotted Dave, and was fighting, struggling, to reach him.

"You are going to die here!" the Guildmaster spat at the draugr.

"Shit!" Dave retreated rapidly.

But Warlord activated his Legacy skills and rampaged through the Undead, sweeping them away with AOE attacks that dealt massive damage.

Finally, he broke through the last formation of Death Knights to stand in front of Dave with great-axe in hand, an armored behemoth splatter with Undead ichor, panting after his exertions. But the price to reach the draugr had been high, he had less than 5% of his HP left. Still more than enough for a high-level Guildmaster to deal with a common lowly draugr.

The timer was almost finished, he only needed a couple more minutes!

Dave didn't dare order more of the Death Knights to turn and help him. If they did, the Undead keeping the players back would crumble immediately and the guildies would swarm over him and take the flag.

He had to survive this on his own. But a single attack from Warlord would end Dave's life.

"Shit just got real! fuck!" Dave cursed as he hopped back toward the temple gate and stumbled.

"Bud, Spark, cover me!" ordered Dave.

The two Elites attacked the Guildmaster unhesitatingly.

Bud charged at Warlord, trying to pin him down.

Bud's selflessness and heroic effort to pin Warlord was worthy of a medal. Unfortunately, the Elite ghoul was killed instantly by a single negligent wave of warlord's great-axe. The Guildmaster then started mowing down the rest of Dave's Undead subordinates.

When Warlord finished dismembering every Undead except Dave, he looked at the lone Draugr and said

"There's no one to hide behind, nowhere left to run, Skeletal Man. You should have talked to us when you had the chance."

Dave's hand was trembling, the red halo around Warlord meant the Guildmaster's Health Points were critically low, less than 5% of his max. But Dave didn't have a chance in hell of damaging Warlord.

Unless...it's risky, but it might work..

Dave ran at Warlord.

"Fool!" The Devastator's Guildmaster spat contemptuously, then swung his massive great-axe.

Dave activated [Bastion].

The damage was nullified, but Warlord was a veteran player. He waited, and attacked at precisely the moment the draugr's three seconds of immunity was up.

Dave used [Vertical Strike] and dodged away.

Warlord closed the gap with [Charge].

[Block]

Dave nullified the damage from the charge, but the Stun debuff caught him, disabling him until [Warrior's will] overcome the effects, dissipating the debuff.

"You are just prolonging the moment until your inevitable death!"

Warlord used the God of War legacy's strongest skill, [God's Fist]

Another rift formed above the battle, the golden gauntlet appeared and smashed down onto Dave.

Dave had a creepy smile on his draugr face as the gauntlet's falling attack obscured everything.

I only bought a few precious seconds. Legacy holders have such a huge advantage. But man this is gonna hurt...

[-389 520]

You died!