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Just when things calm down, they get tense again… That certainly seemed the case, for just as they all had reconvened, some new guy lands near their group. Asher’s eyes certainly catch the tension from the S Rankers. Whomever this guy was, he must be some big deal to get them riled up.

As Grasidia was conversing with the man, Asher found his hand resting near one of the bars strapped to his waist. He certainly hoped they would not be right back into another fight, but it didn’t mean he couldn’t be on guard for the worst case scenario. He scanned around, seeing both Rune Knights and civilians alike standing around them. If a fight does break out now, this will get ugly quick, his mouth twitching at the thought. But, with the man letting out a chuckle, the tension snaps. Asher finds himself letting out a breath he didn’t know he was holding.

Suddenly, his gaze follows Holly, who leaped up on top of the dissolving dragon, a sight to behold as she stands tall and poses for the masses. All things considered, he had to give it to her for fully committing to the act. Judging from a good part of the crowd, they were eating it up as others started to take pictures of everyone. It was good to see such attitudes from the masses so soon after what happened.

A quiet calling of his name snapped him out of his gaze, turning his head and finding Astoria beside him. He blinked in surprise at her request, but as he got a better look at her shivering form tightly clinging to her wet cloak, he pushed it down as concern for her health came to him. Before he could say anything towards that, the sudden arrival of Cloven made him pause. As the younger boy made his offer to Astoria, Asher found himself giving the boy an apprehensive look with the tilt of his head. The strange boy was just as wet as Astoria. That wouldn’t do her any good in warming up any time soon, though it’s likely he didn’t think of that before making the offer. Though it was strange he wanted her to answer questions as part of the deal.

As such, Asher speaks up. “While a… kind gesture, I don’t believe in your current condition,” motioning towards his soaked clothing, “it would be better for her to get her body to warmth as soon as possible. In this case, please leave this to me. But first…” Putting his hands on the bottom of his wet and dirty shirt, Asher in a single quick motion, pulls it over his head, revealing his tone, muscled form beneath.

Laying his shirt down on a bit of debris to his side, Asher then closes his eyes as he draws a little bit of his magic. Using a fraction of the power usually done for this spell, Asher’s body takes on a faint glow as a small bit of heat wafts in the air just around his body. Satisfied, he opens his eyes and looks to Astoria. “It’s better for me to mitigate any resistance for transferring body heat to you. This should be sufficient enough.”

Shot after shot, Asher continued to fire more red hot spearheads at the dragon. The wall slowly started to shrink downwards as more material was lost with each shot. His eyes watch through the peephole, hoping that the overgrown lizard will finally be taken down in some fashion soon. “I can’t keep this up much longer unless I want to leave us open,” his head turning back towards Astoria, still in the middle of keeping her spell going behind him. But as his attention returns to the front, he spots through the rain and debris a fantastic sight. The dragon, the beast that has been taking hit after hit from their guild and kept fighting, falls over, collapsing to the ground.

Seconds that seemed like minutes passed as Asher held his breath. The dragon did not move. It was finally defeated. And the ones who did it was their very own guild. Turning his back against the wall, he slowly slumped to the ground, letting out his breath as he could feel the adrenaline now start to fade and exhaustion began to sink in. For a minute, all he could do was sit there, a relieved smile on his face as the thought of victory now took over his thoughts. “We did it… we really did it, huh?” He speaks softly to the air, quite now except for the falling rain.

Rain… right, he realizes, his head looking back up to Astoria’s form, still in a trance as she holds onto her spell. I guess she hasn’t realized it over now, huh?. Asher pushes himself up and off the wall, walking over to her standing position. Placing a hand onto her shoulder, he gives her a gentle shake to snap her out of the trance. “Astoria, you can stop now,” he softly says. “It’s over. The dragon… it is defeated. We have won.” A smile comes to his face as he reminds himself of that.

His head turning back once more towards the wall, he then says to her, “We should meet back up with the others and see what everyone’s status is. I know several of them take big blows out there besides Holly, and I’m certain they would appreciate your healing abilities right about now.” He then takes his hand off her shoulder, turning to leave from behind their barrier.

As he rounds the corner, he stops for a moment, before adding “Good work, by the way. If you hadn’t started that rain shower, it’s likely the fire would still be causing more damage to the city or hurt more people.” With that said, he continues out from around the wall, picking up his pace while hopping over and around debris in the street as he heads to meet up with the others.

Asher internally sighs in relief as a couple of his guild mates were able to hear his call out and had taken cover behind his protective wall. He was also impressed at their quick work in helping dampen the incoming wall of flames with their combination of water and some sort of dark dome that absorbed what flames touched it. In this manner, the three of them had a definitive defensive line set up should the others need a place to fall back.

Taking an opportunity to look around the side of his shield wall, he looked back towards the dragon. It didn’t take much time to see it had taken quite a beating, which certainly pleased Asher. However, as he was observing, it once more let out a horrendous screech, forcing him once again behind the bulwark to dampen the sound. Taking a second look, he lets out a frustrated breath as he can see that the dragon was now recovering itself. “Fantastic. Of course it can do that…” Compounded with what seems to be the guilds powerhouses taking a beating and some even struggling, the situation definitely was getting more and more sketchy for them.

His attention was taken away from the dragon by the sound of clanging steel behind him. In looking back, he spots Holly, one of the guilds top members, now laying upon the ground next to Astoria. Before he could even ask what was going on, a distortion opens up beside him, the voice of the older gentleman Marduk yells out for him to protect Astoria. “No need to remind me that, Marduk. I’ll keep both her and Holly safe here,” giving a nod, though if he could see him he didn’t know.

Running up to the back of the barrier, he quickly forged a small metal slider, just big enough for him to open and look through. Scanning quickly, he spots at the base of the wall all sorts of new debris sitting there. He grimaced a little as several unfortunate Rune Knights bodies had also found rest there. But mourning their deaths had to wait for after the dragon had been put down and his guild mates were safe, as he began to draw on his magic. “Forge!” The bulwark glowed once more with the hot, molten sheen, as Asher willed the metal to absorb all the new material. Pipes. Street lights. Even the weapons and armor of the fallen knights. All was taken into the growing mass of the wall, becoming thicker with each new intake.

As he was finishing with the last bit of it, he found Astoria coming up behind him. With her asking him to stay close and cover her, he replies back. “Just stick near me behind this wall. I swear I’ll do my best to prevent anything from interrupting what you’ve got planned,” giving her what he hopes came across as reassurance. He steps back up towards the peephole, hands placed upon the walls. “I’ll also try and provide some assistance towards those still fighting.” With that being said, along the outer side of the wall, spiked tips began to protrude, each one much like the head of a spear.

Suddenly, the form shot out from the side of his wall. Through the gap, he could see the form of Holly, seeming to somewhat have recovered from her injuries earlier, and quickly flying off to the side to flank. “Well then…” he quietly speaks to himself. Rain starts to hit the top of his head, as he forces more mana into the wall, this time channeling it towards just the spear tips, now burning red. He pays it no mind, as he adjusts all of them in the direction of the dragon. “I at least should provide some covering fire for her approach like this. If I’m lucky, maybe some burning metal in its skin can slow down that annoying regeneration.” His eyes then narrow in focus as he starts his supporting assault. “Scrap Shooting!”

One by one, the blazing tips of metal began firing off the wall. They whizzed through the air, boys of steam following in their wake as they blow through the rain. In a matter of seconds, the shots start to make contact with the dragon. While some shots bounced off the thicker bits of scales, more found flesh thanks to the blood magic ripping into the hide. In the places where this happened, the recovering tissue began to sizzle and burn, now spreading out even more as it boils the blood around it.

Asher had to hand it to Grasidia, these leaves of hers are one heck of a way to travel. He had not been prepared for the sudden speed they had shot off towards Era, having expected the leafs to float more so than fly. He quickly learned that sitting was for the best as the wind buffets into his face.

In what seemed like no time at all, the city of Era began to appear ahead of them. And with that came the signs of destruction, as smoke and flame became more pronounced. But even the destruction didn’t hold his attention to long as the very cause of it caught his eye. The Dragon. The very one they are here to stop. He had heard tales of such creatures as he was growing up, but now actually being able to see one for the first time? Well, the stories couldn’t fully catch the feeling of it, he felt.

He watched as Grasidia leaped from her own leaf, taking the fight to the dragon and landing a mighty blow, which impressed Asher quite a bit. Though the dragon proved it was no pushover, wincing as it in turn smacks her down in retaliation. But then it saw them coming in and with a mighty wing flap, Asher finds himself tumbling onto the ground before.

Covering his head, he tucks and rolls, minimizing the impact as much as he can. But he couldn’t let the soreness of the fall stop him, as that would most certainly lead to his death. Lifting himself up with a nearby fallen street lamp, Asher starts to channel his magic into its metal frame.

“Forge.” Starting from where his hand has taken hold, the metal frame of the light began to take on an orange, molten hue as it began to heat up. Once the whole thing had taken this effect, it began to move. It began to compress into a smaller form, taking the form that Asher envisioned in his mind. With the form cooling, the previous lamp’s new shape is realized, as two spears now rest where it once had fallen.

Taking up the first one, Asher brought the spear tip up in front of him. With his other hand, he rushed his finger along its edge. “Tempered Touch.” Similar to how the whole thing was before, the edge in where he touched began to glow as it heated up to near melting temperatures. There was little time to admire such a sight, as once it was completed, Asher quickly changed his grip onto the spear’s shaft and, pulling his arm back, threw the first sizzling tipped spear towards the dragon’s head.

But as he was preparing to do the same with the second one, the dragon lets out a mighty roar, casting forth a great stream of flames around it and towards them. “Damn!” Gritting his teeth, he takes the spear in hand and slams it into a pile of other various debris. “Forge!”. Once more, the spear takes the molten hue it had before. This time however, the other various bits and broken pieces of metal within the pile also began to glow. With no hesitation, he willed the affected material to form in front of him. Like half of a rounded shield sticking out of the earth, a large half circle metal wall took shape across a large part of the street. As it begins to harden, he yells out to those that are near him. “I got some cover up over here! Quickly, get behind it if you can!”

When Asher had walked into the guildhall today, he was expecting it to be the same as it had been. He had just finished looking at the still empty job board, taking a step towards the crowded table to grab something to eat. It was at this moment when the Guild Leader made the proclamation about their new job.

To go to Era and slay a dragon, of all things! To say that such a decree took him by surprise was an understatement. He had been praying for any sort of job to come through soon. Dragon slaying though? Perhaps his prayers were more effective than he ever thought before.

With the guild master jumping up on another table, Asher blinks, still taking in the momentous news. He swipes up one of the remaining sandwiches, before speaking up. “To think that we go from a week of nothing, to going to slaying a dragon…” He bites into his sandwich, swallowing before adding. “I guess that old expression of “go big or go home” really suits this situation.”

Finally was able to hammer this out.
I find myself intrigued. I’ll add my interest towards this.
Color me intrigued.

It’s quite astounding just how fast things can change. One minute, Liam was having a pleasant time alongside some of those he met a few weeks ago as the parade went down the street. Then a strange ticking sound started to grow louder and louder amongst the parade. It all became clear once Liam’s eyes caught sight of the large mechanical beast behind one of the floats. Before he could even fully process its sudden appearance, he saw another one of those he had fought beside engaging the beast, her flames arching with her blades swings. He watched as her attacks seemed to have little, being knocked down with the creatures large hook like weapon.

His heart sank when the beast crushed her with its last blow. It’s never easy to see someone you know die. Even worse when it happened before one's very eyes.

“We can’t let it claim anyone else,” Liam adds after Nori, his chain fouling out of his arms as he draws upon his power. Immediately they shot forth, chains latching onto light posts and anything else they can, as Liam flies around the street, observing the creature while also checking around in case of stragglers still in the area.
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