527 A Mortals Struggles

    Left to face this crisis by himself, Daniel could do nothing but observe as the five fully armored warriors charged him with blind rage, each the size of a full grown man, armed with not-so-sharp iron-made that they waved in excitement. However, despite feeling the now unfamiliar feeling of urgency creep into his skin once again, Daniel did not panic, as he had already mentally prepared himself for this.

    The lack of mana in this universe had left Daniel wondering whether his system, which had the ability to bring him back to life by using the surrounding essence to rewind time, would be able to revive him in case he was struck down-A question for which he was not willing to risk his life to find an answer for.. At the same time, dying was just the outcome of many scenarios.

    In order to survive, Daniel not only needed to be the last one standing, but also to protect himself, as even though his system was still able to quicken his healing factor, the multiplier was not applied to the effects of his healing essence, but only to his natural ability to recover. A light injury would still weaken him for a few hours, and a would bad enough to force him on a bed for months, would still leave him incapacitated for days.

    Daniel knew only one way to fight while avoiding damages, and that.. was to fight dirty.

    Luckily, the room at the top of the tower was not big enough to allow six adults to move and fight freely, reason why only two of these monstrous warriors stepped approached him while the rest formed a semi-circle. These two warriors brandished their poorly made weapons with the intent of leaving nothing but pieces of Daniel, who instead of retreating, tightened the grip around his bone knives and waited for his opponents to get closer.

    Daniel's heartbeat slowed down.. his breathing became extremely quiet as he observed the two monsters take one step after the other while grunting in excitement. Then, as they reached the right distance, Daniel gripped one of his knives the same way one would hold a dart, and threw it in the direction of one of the monsters, who easily deflected it with the small shield that was mounted in their left iron bracer.

    The second monster stopped advancing, and reacted to Daniel's attack by turning to look at his companion, who was safe and sound. Enraged by this ridiculous attack, the two monsters once again turned to look at Daniel, who, by now, had already taken a few steps in their direction, but was still out of range. The first reaction of the two monstrous looking warriors was to prepare for the incoming fight, which left them completely unprepared for when Daniel swiped with his leg on the remains of the dying bonfire, and sent a cloud of ashes and embers right in their direction.

    With eyes covered in ashes, and burning embers that crawled into the crevices of their plate armor, the two monsters became even more enraged, and waved their weapons and shields aimlessly to keep Daniel from approaching.. However, before their eyes could recover, or the cinder could settle, Daniel appeared behind the closest of the two.

    He wrapped his arm around the head of the monstrous warrior, feeling the pustules-covered and greasy skin against his arm, and stabbed his eye with his remaining knife. Then, just to be sure, he stabbed the side of his neck and sliced his throat open, causing the warrior's black and smelly blood to drip onto his hand, covering it completely.

    As gurgling noises resounded in the room, and the warrior began to choke in his own blood, Daniel grabbed his sword, and after a single rotation of his arm, he cleaved it into the skull of the second incapacitated warrior, splitting it into two. With a heavy breath, he then grabbed the sword of his latest victim, and prepared for the following battle.

    At the sight of two of their companions being slaughtered, the remaining three warriors did not react. Instead, almost joyous about having a chance to fight, they let out a crazed war cry before advancing in Daniel��s direction, uncaring about stepping over the bodies of their fallen companions.

    The first of these three monsters, clearly more eager than the others, used one of the dead bodies to leap in the air, increasing the weight that his already muscular arm had charged his sword with.. An attack that came down on Daniel like a thunderbolt sent by the heavens to smite him. Unable to retreat, Daniel could only move his swords together, and use them to block the incoming attack.

    As the swords clashed, the entire power of the strike traveled into the muscles of Daniel's arms, leaving them trembling and sore. But, alas, there was no time to recover, as while the first warrior kept him pinned on the ground, barely able to maintain a standing posture, the second of these monstrous warriors approached him from the side, and tried to hack the back of his knees.

    Daniel moved the weight of the first warrior by letting both swords slide behind his back, and causing his weapon to slide past their poorly sharpened edges, and land on the ground just in time to parry the attack of the second warrior. As his sword were pushed against the back of his legs, Daniel let go of the one he was holding with his right hand, and with all the power that his half kneeling body could muster, he swiped his sword horizontally, and against the armored legs of the first warrior.

    Unfortunately, due to the weapon's poor condition, Daniel's attack was unable to cut through the light chain mail that was covering the back of the warrior's knee. Nevertheless, the blow was precise enough to cause him to fall on his back, giving Daniel enough time to pierce his throat with his sword, before the thought of standing back up could even form in the monster's head.

    While holding onto the sword, Daniel grabbed the sword of his third victim before getting up, and Dashing towards the third approaching warrior, who, still unprepared, found himself having to defend against Daniel's incoming slash. The warrior was quick in his reaction, and formed a defensive triangle with his small shield, shoulder plate, and elbow pad to protect his only two uncovered places-his head, and his neck.

    Prepared for the attack, the warrior hid his face in order to avoid getting hit, but instead of feeling the pressure and shock wave that came with blocking a blow, he felt the weight of Daniel's body as he somersaulted over and past him, landing right behind him. The last feeling this monster felt was the pointy end of Daniel's sword as it slid past his shoulder blades and clavicle, and wrecked havoc into his chest.

    As the body of the fourth warrior fell limp on the ground revealing Daniel's body, for the first time, in the face of the last of the five monstrous minions, appeared a hint of hesitation. One that disappeared the moment his observing leader grunted in disapproval, after which the last monstrous warrior regained his courage, and shot towards Daniel, who was waiting for him while keeping his swords pointed down by his sides.

    The monster charged as if it had not seen four of its companions fall by Daniel's hand, but before it could reach him, a faint shine of metal pierced through the darkness of the poorly lit room, and landed directly in the throat of the last warrior, who produced a few gurgling sounds before bleeding out on the floor.

    Daniel's eyes moved to the exit that led to the bridge, where he had seen the shadow of the dark-skinned warrior lean into the door just enough to throw the knife, and rid Daniel of one of his attackers before disappearing once again.

    Help was not something that Daniel could afford to refuse, but there was still one monster left-the leader of this party.

    This slightly larger monster was clad in a darker shade of iron armor, which had been damaged to a point where Daniel could not help but wonder why he hadn't replaced it. It only took a look at the monster's beady and lucid eyes for him to realize that, for this kind of warriors, damage to the armor, as well as the presence of scars on their bodies, was likely something to be proud of, and a sign of seniority between their monstrous kin.

    Contrary to the members of the party it led, this monster was much more composed, and from the way he moved, Daniel could recognize his much wider experience as a warrior. His sword was also of greater value, as while it was in the same shape as that of the others, which meant that it had been made by the same blacksmith, was visibly sharper and made out of low quality steel.

    Regardless, none of this mattered to Daniel. Only one more warrior was stopping him from checking up on his companions, and even though he was feeling tired, and was almost out of breath, he was confident.

    The warrior seemed to perceive this confidence, which he immediately tried to dispel by slamming his sword against his shield, and roaring in a war cry that forced Daniel to take a step back and cover his ears in pain. After the war cry, the monster kept slamming his sword rhythmically, faster and faster, until finally, he leaned forward and advanced.

    "Come on, big guy." Daniel said while cleaning his right hand, which was still covered with the black blood of the monster's companion.

    Thirsty for Daniel's blood, the monster lifted the hand with which he was holding his sword, almost as if intending to split his body in two, but as Daniel raised his right arm to parry the blow, the monster bent his knees, raised his shield at shoulder height, and while putting all of his weight into it, rammed against the unprepared Daniel, who was slammed heavily against the wall.

    With a mouth slowly filling with blood, Daniel had no time to consider how vast the difference in fighting ability was between this monstrous warrior and his minions, especially since a diagonal slash was coming to separate his head and right shoulder from the rest of his body.. An attack that he barely avoided by lowering his body and leaning to his left.

    Contrary to what Daniel expected, instead of moving his arm back to attack again, the monster curved the path of his hacking motion downwards, until his sword reached right above Daniel's knee, on which he pushed its sharp blade right before slashing his flesh, leaving a third of an inch deep wound.

    Between using the advantageous position to swing his sword, and his shield to bash on Daniel's body whenever he would try to move away from the wall, the monster kept his flurry of blows going, leaving more and more superficial, and internal wounds whenever an attack would land.

    With his back against the wall, Daniel could nothing but keep avoiding being fatally wounded.. And so he did, waiting for an opportunity.

    This opportunity presented itself when the monster threw a punch at Daniel's throat in an attempt to use the edge of the shield to decapitate him, or at least break his neck-but Daniel was quick to avoid the attack. He then slid the sword he was holding with his left hand in the little crevice that separated the internal part of the shield, from the warrior's forearm.

    Once in control of the monster's shield arm, Daniel pivoted in place, causing the monster to follow his movement and fall on his knees, with his arm bent uncomfortably behind its back. The blood loss was causing Daniel to feel gradually weaker, so instead of wasting time, Daniel pierced his remaining sword in between the plates that covered the monster's back. He then pulled the other sword out of the monster's shield and did it again.

    Mistakenly convinced that it was finally over, Daniel was shocked to see the monster rise back to a standing position despite being on the brink of a death that he clearly was unwilling to accept.

    Before the monster could attack again, Daniel picked up a third sword which he found near his right foot, avoided the warrior's weak horizontal slash by lowering his head, and after stomping the back of its knee, and causing it to fall on his knees once again, he pierced his body for a third time.

    Unwilling to wait and see whether the monster was any closer to death, Daniel picked up the remaining two swords, approached the kneeling monster from behind, crossed the swords in front of his throat, and with a well placed kick to the back of the head, he decapitated it, killing it once and for all.

    He then fell on the cold stone floor, exhausted.
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