The Runesmith

Chapter 398: Horror Ends.

Chapter 398: Horror Ends.

"Don't allow the unholy beast time to recover! Charge in! For Solaria!"

A platoon of knights, their armor adorned with the symbol of the sun, valiantly rushed forward to confront the menacing creature. Behind them, a smaller group of priests chanted sacred incantations and summoned golden spears of radiant light. Each priest extended their hand, directing the beams of divine energy toward the approaching monstrosity.

The creature, despite its injuries and being greatly outnumbered, showed no fear and continued its relentless charge, undeterred by the combined might of the knights and priests. The battle between light and darkness had started and the monstrosity utilized its many tentacles against the attackers. They collided with the many heavy tower shields the knights were holding. Some of them held strong while others were punctured through by the strange appendages that turned into fleshy drills.

“Fire! Give support to the Paladins!”

A secondary group, consisting of more than a hundred men, advanced from behind the formation of Solarian paladins. Upon receiving the command, archers swiftly responded by releasing a volley of arrows that ignited into flames as they descended upon the menacing creature. The night sky was illuminated with the fiery arrows as they rained down, an effort to weaken the beast and wear it down over time.

Although the creature was a high-level threat, the accumulated damage from these ranged attacks would gradually take its toll. The strategy was clear: to deplete the creature's health and stamina from a safe distance, whittling away at its formidable strength. Once the creature had been weakened, the final assault could be launched, bringing an end to the menace that had terrorized this wedding ceremony.

The men's shouts reverberated, and the creature responded with high-pitched shrieks as its body endured relentless blows. Despite its attempts to shield itself with numerous tentacles, the creature was clearly running out of time. It had clung to life through the incomplete transformation ritual, but now its condition was rapidly deteriorating. Black sludge oozed from its main body, bubbling up to release noxious gas as it started to die.

“The Unholy creature is wavering! Now is our chance!”

Some of the holy knights recognized that the creature was nearing its end. While patience was an option, the monster's many tentacles still posed a threat to their allies. The black fumes emanating from its body were not only poisonous but possibly cursed as well. It was wiser to put an end to this swiftly to prevent further casualties. Thus, from within the group of Solarian knights, a small squad of five stepped forward. They were all adorned in distinctive golden armor, their radiance serving as a symbol of their faith and power.

Their armors emitted a radiant light and were enveloped by an aurora of divine energy. The instant they entered the range of the dark cloud that had formed, it disintegrated before their holy radiance. Two individuals, each wielding a large shield, surged forward and absorbed the brunt of the monster's attacks. Their shields endured a barrage of strikes from the creature's appendages, and though they were bent in some places, the two paladins pressed on with their charge.

Following the shield-bearing paladins, three swordsmen stepped forward, each wielding a different type of blade. These swords were swiftly enveloped in a golden aura, which they used to deliver divine retribution to the unholy beast. With each swing, they managed to dislodge tendrils and tentacles, steadily advancing toward the monster's damaged core, which continued to radiate corrupt abyssal energy.

Despite its weakened state, the monstrous creature remained fiercely determined. It refused to yield and instead continued to defend itself with unrelenting tenacity, launching counter-strikes against the golden knights who dared to confront it. The battle between the abyssal creature and the sun knights continued to rage on as their shouts covered the entire area.

While these valiant efforts were unfolding, a different scene was taking place nearby. In a spot that the abyssal creature had once occupied, a man wearing damaged runic armor was clutching another individual. Beneath them, a small pool of blood had formed, originating from a dismembered arm that had now turned completely obsidian.

“How is he?”

“I don’t know, he lost a lot of blood, and this wound… it’s not healing properly, it must have been some type of curse.”


Roland shifted his gaze to the side where Bernir's severed hand had landed. Amid the creature's onslaught, the exoskeleton had been damaged in many places, and with it, Bernir's hand had been severed around the middle of the forearm. Roland had been forced to further amputate the remaining portion due to the spread of a strange corruption. The leftover hand had now turned pitch black, bubbling up and transforming into a dark sludge before his eyes.

His armor had been mostly destroyed but he had enough mana to reform enough of it to continue supplying emulated holy mana to the afflicted spot. Even after the secondary cut the corruption was only halted thanks to the quick intervention from his part. It seemed that a person like Bernir who did not possess any type of combat class and a weaker body, was highly susceptible to being injured by that monster. Roland himself had been cut in a few places but his body was somewhat able to resist the corruption and along with it, he had gained a new resistance type.

Abyssal Corruption Resistance

Passive Skill L2

Raises resistances to abyssal corruption. 

This form of damage was likely unique to the Eldritch Horror he had confronted, perhaps specific to other corrupt abyssal creatures as well. It was possible that Bernir had acquired this skill, but lacking a sufficiently high vitality stat to support his body's recovery, it proved insufficient to counteract the affliction. He had now lost his right arm, and his livelihood as a blacksmith could be in jeopardy. However, he was still alive, and his weakened heart was gradually regaining strength.

“His life shouldn’t be in danger but we need to get out of here, that thing is still there.”

Initially, Roland considered retrieving his friend's severed hand. From his research, he knew that certain high-level clerics possessed the ability to reattach lost limbs if the healing occurred shortly after the incident. However, the hand in question was rapidly deteriorating into a pool of corrupted sludge, rendering it likely useless for any such procedure. Safety was not yet guaranteed in their current situation. Although soldiers had arrived from outside and were engaged in battle with the monster, the danger still loomed nearby.

“We need to… ugh…”

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s nothing…”

Elodia inquired while helping Roland to his feet. The battle had taken a toll on his body, with some broken ribs and likely cracked bones in his legs. He could barely support his own weight, let alone carry Bernir to safety. His wife, in better condition, took it upon herself to support their friend instead. Despite Bernir being unconscious and quite heavy, she persisted, determined to prevent any more harm from befalling the people in this dire situation.

Luckily for the three of them, the night of the horror was quickly coming to an end. The spell that held the monster in place started to finally waver. Another strange screech from the monstrosity riverbedded through the whole compound, though this time around Roland could feel that the corrupted mana was quickly dissipating. Then soon after he received a confirmation by a window informing him that he had gained some experience.

Eldritch Horror has been slain. Experience will be distributed according to contribution. 

Though he hadn't delivered the final blow and wasn't directly responsible for launching the rail through the monster's heart, the contribution he made was substantial. It had been enough for him to level up multiple times, reinforcing the possibility that this was indeed a tier 4 creature. Now was not the moment to glance at his status screen, as there were more pressing matters at hand. The individuals who had defeated the creature remained a mystery, and judging by the mana patterns he sensed, they appeared to be affiliated with the church.

In his current condition, facing a fresh tier 2 class holder would likely be an impossible task. Bernir remained unconscious, and Elodia had depleted her runic battery, offering limited firepower. The only consolation in this situation was that the monster was dead and that some reinforcements were approaching from behind them. He was not quite alone but another problem arose soon after and led to something that he had wished to keep hidden for a bit longer.

“There are people here!”

“It’s the Knight Commander!”

“Support the Knight Commander!”

Among the group that arrived first, Roland recognized a few familiar faces. They were the soldiers he had been supplying with weapons and had assisted in their training. A sizable contingent of them quickly gathered around him. Not far from this group, another assembly of people materialized. It was evident that this group belonged to the church, and some of its members appeared to be high-level paladins, possibly part of the inquisition unit.

Agni, in his divine form as the Sunlight Wolf, suddenly emerged from the underbrush. He had swiftly returned to his master once he regained his strength. Although his body was bruised and battered, with the aid of his holy energies, he was rapidly recovering. The potent radiant mana he emitted was quite conspicuous and was likely to draw the attention of the church, a situation he had sought to avoid.

Within the group of Solarian knights, Roland could discern a few distinct pieces of armor. They bore a resemblance to the ones he had seen in the past while interacting with the High-Inquisitor, who supposedly knew his father. The five individuals wearing these similar armors didn't appear to hold the same high-ranking positions, but they were likely at least tier 3 class holders.

The members of the Church came to an abrupt halt upon seeing the fiery wolf. It was a creature mentioned in some of the old legends, though Roland was not entirely familiar with them. The possibility that they might attempt to separate Agni from him after realizing his origins was a concern. However, in his current weakened state, he would be powerless to stop them. While his side had been reinforced by some soldiers, none of them could match the strength of the Solarian paladins.

As the church members and Solarian paladins began to converge, Roland had a difficult decision to make. He needed to ensure the safety of his wife, Elodia, and their injured friend, Bernir, while also protecting Agni from getting kidnapped. His mind raced to come up with a good excuse for this situation but before he could even open his mouth his vision started to waver.

“H-hey, get it together!”

He struggled to hear Elodia's voice as he dropped to his knees. His body was swiftly succumbing to the strain, and consciousness slipped away before he could utter a word, the darkness enveloping him as he passed out. Suddenly, he was falling through a strange tunnel with voices of his past encounters calling out to him as he plunged into the void.

First, he saw his younger self, confined to a library and gazing out of the window. His brother Robert diligently practiced his swordsmanship, casting disapproving glances in his direction. The vision soon shifted to a trio of young women navigating a dungeon, with him illuminating the way using the simplest of light spells.

Then, he found himself back in a workshop, working on his first runic sword. Abruptly, the scenery darkened, and he was thrust into his earliest encounter with the cultists. Finally, he was in the city of Albrook, surrounded by people with smiling faces that soon turned upside down.

The scenery turned crimson and darkened, and all that echoed were the ceaseless screams. He desperately reached out, attempting to grasp onto something, but instead, he continued to plummet further into the abyss. The images from his past gradually faded, leaving only an eerie and oppressive silence of emptiness.

Then, as he turned around, something materialized: a colossal eye opened before him within the void of nothingness. It stared at him, gazing at his descent as if passing judgment on his worth. His own gaze was drawn to this one gigantic eye, it seemed to know everything and peered deep into his very soul, stripping him of his essence. However, just as he was about to get consumed by the gaze, his own eyes snapped open.


The first thing Roland noticed was an unfamiliar ceiling, a design that he couldn't quite recall. Memories of the events involving the cultists at his home quickly rushed back to him, jolting him awake. He tried to raise his body, but something felt amiss. It wasn't pain that stopped him, but rather a weight pressing down on his chest. When he looked down, he quickly realized it was a person on top of him, and that person was his now-wife, Elodia.

Elodia was resting against his chest, sitting next to the bed where he lay. As he had a moment to assess the situation, he recognized his surroundings. The white sheets of cloth that separated his bed from the others were a clear indication. He had found himself in the infirmary at the Church of Solaria, and now, apparently, he was one of their patients as well.

His hand moved towards those long obsidian locks as he decided to not move anymore. Her presence here gave him some solace and allowed him to think. However, soon he heard the clang of heavy armor approaching them. The mana patterns surrounding the approaching individuals were unmistakably divine in nature. It wasn’t strange to assume that they were paladins from the church, likely coming to have a chat with the man involved in the recent cultist encounter…


“... Finally those Solarian bastards are gone… you’ll need more than that to kill the great Kovak!”

Unbeknownst to everyone involved in the incident, a strange creature emerged from a hollowed tree. At first, it appeared to be a shriveled person, but its lack of a lower body soon became apparent. Instead, the creature sported something akin to spider legs, enabling it to silently and swiftly crawl through the environment.

“Damn fools ruined the whole mission! It will take me years to recover all those lost undead and my body…”

Kovak, the necromancer, mumbled to himself as he navigated through the forest. The Eldritch Horror he had summoned had been defeated, but he had survived. During the chaos of the battle, he managed to shield his head and make his escape. Fearing retribution, he remained hidden in one of the trees for several nights until the Solarian presence had diminished.

“I used up most of my mana to conceal myself but it was worth it! I need to get back to the Arch-Priestess!”

The spider's head disappeared into the night, stealthily making its way towards freedom. Everyone was too preoccupied with the aftermath of the Eldritch Horror and damage control to notice that Kovak had survived. The necromancer chuckled to himself as he hurried through the trees, feeling a sense of security. It would take some time, but eventually, he could find refuge in one of their secret temples.

Freedom was within reach, and if he made it out, he could reveal the truth about their true enemy, Wayland the Knight Commander, to the cult. Soon, their armies would descend to capture the irregular and extract all his secrets into the open. It became clear that he was the one capable of affecting their relic and their cult wouldn’t shy away from turning this whole island upside down to get him.

“Oh? What is this? Quite the ugly creature…”


Suddenly the necromancer felt a shift in the environment. He could feel that some magic was used but in his current state, he couldn’t really do anything about it. Someone was there, watching him and he wasn’t sure of their location just that he needed to quickly escape. His form shifted into the shadows as he tried to hide himself in the tall grass and behind the trees but the sensation of being watched never went away.

Kovak pressed on with his escape, but it seemed as though he was traversing the same location repeatedly. In his weakened state, he couldn't quite comprehend or resist the spell that had ensnared him, but he was certain that he had been caught in some form of illusion. At last, when he halted, an individual emerged. They were enveloped in an aura of blue flames, clearly directed at his current form.

“Tired of running? Good choice, now what should I do with you…”

The person asked, their voice sensual and alluring. Soon her form emerged to present the angered necromancer with his enemy, an alluring woman with several tails and large fox like ears. The flames behind her flew forward to surround the undead spider head, not allowing it to escape.

“Stop! Stay your hand! I’m sure we can make a deal!”

“Oh, you want to make a deal?”

The woman chuckled while pointing out with her finger, the blue flames moved closer to the necromancer’s squirming head.

“Stop! Do you want wealth? Power perhaps? The cult can make all your wishes come true! I will form a binding contract with you now!”

“A contract?”


“Sorry… but I don’t make deals with your kind~”

The woman smiled before directing her attention once more to ignite the flames, targeting the grotesque creature's head. At the instant the flames made contact with the small monster, Kovak's long life came to a close. His agonized cries and screams went unheard by anyone, and before long, he was reduced to nothing but a pile of ashes on the ground.

“Hm… Maybe I should have captured him instead or given him to the Church?”

She asked herself while looking at the pile of dirt on the ground. However, soon she just shook her head to affirm that her decision now was the right call.

“No, trusting these monsters is never a good idea, it’s better this way…”

Soon her form vanished from the forest and the scenery that was clouded in illusion and silence returned to normal. The encroachment on this territory had finally ended and no cultist had survived, the woman here made sure of it.

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