Chapter 35: Dark Seed

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Erika's movements were swift and light, thanks to Alicia's enchantment. She rapidly closed onto the black flower and aimed her knife at the vulnerable stem; it was the same efficient strategy she employed against Windfloras.

However, it wasn't as easy against this mysterious flower..

"W-wah!"

Erika dodged a fierce punch by a hair's breadth. If she wasn't faster than usual, she would have been smacked hard.

"Geh!"

The flower quickly thrust a punch with its other arm. There was no time to dodge, but Erika managed to blocked the attack with crossed arms. This was all thanks to the responsive Combat Aid which she leveled up.

Curses! I can't get any closer like this!

Erika's advances were continuously interrupted by the flower's long arms. Every time she tried to charge in, she was welcomed by a brutal fist. She always ended up abandoning her attack, either to evade or to block a punch.

While keeping Erika at bay, the flower refilled its missing petals. Time was Erika's enemy in this confrontation.

A shower of blades from point blank... it'll be a one-hit K.O, no doubt about it. I need to settle this fast, somehow!

Despite shouting so in her head, Erika struggled to find a winning strategy. Alicia couldn't possibly provide any support either, as her strong gusts would blow Erika away along with the nearby flower.

"Haa... haa... curses!"

Erika decided to gamble and rushed in at full speed. She ignored her defense and swung the knife toward the black stem.

"Gah!"

A punch rammed her shoulder and trashed her into the field. Her face crashed into some flowers and smashed them.

"Heavens! This is such a disgrace!"

Jeff held his head in anguish as he watched his precious field getting messed up.

"Curses..."

Erika jumped on her feet, but a stack of blades was waiting for her.

T-this is bad!

The flower aimed its cannon and released a barrage of blades. Even with the sharper Combat Aid and with Alicia's buff - there was nothing Erika could do!

... luckily, Alicia reacted fast. Since Erika was pushed a decent distance from the enemy, Alicia's fierce gust safely annihilated the black daggers.

"Phew..."

Erika was granted a second chance. She didn't have the luxury to relax and strategize, but she took some time to examine the flower's arms. No matter where she looked, there was no weakness in the dark flower's structure; there was no way to reach the flower's stem.

"Hey, Titan! Try cutting them dumb arms!"

"Eh? Cut them...?"

"Yeah! C'mon! Chop chop!"

"Is that even possible...?"

Instead of focusing on the stem, Erika shifted her attention toward the arms. They were stretching out from the stem itself and appeared to be as fragile as the stem. She was so obsessed with the unreachable stem, that the thought of striking the arms never crossed her mind.

There was no telling whether the flower's arms could be cut off, but it was worth a shot. Originally, Erika didn't believe that the Windflora's stem could be sliced either, so anything was possible.

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