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Pen Your Pride

Chapter 11

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Cliff and Raven scurried along the bridge, heading for the forest that hid beneath the thick and dense fog. Within the next few seconds, the temperature had surprisingly dropped down by several degrees.

In an instant, the Knights of Destiny were already surrounded by tall tress which shot up high from the ground, their thick branches and leaves obscuring the sun's light. Down there it was utterly silent and dark. Besides their own presences, Cliff could sense no other being around the perimeter.

The Knights of Destiny's plan was indeed very simple. Cliff, being at a high level, had fully upgraded his night vision skills. Raven would stay close to the Shadow Knight, and he would lead the way, tracing the nearest light source he can find. That would either be their destination, in other words the wolf's location, or perhaps just other players.

"Raven, could you help me with something?" he asked.

"What is it?"

"Could you take note of our every single move from the bridge to our destination? It'll help us to get there faster later on next Tuesday," he explained.

"Why? I don't mind, but can't we just mark the location on the map?"

"No. That's what makes this place special. You know how the map shows routes and paths? This forest is different. It won't show anything on the map."

Raven opened the pause menu, then went to the 'map' button.

"I can barely see a thing," she said.

"That's because your night vision skills aren't high enough. But actually the only thing it shows of this forest is the location of the bridge and where we are."

"So basically we're just like blind bats wandering around in this gloomy forest."

"Actually, only you are. I have night vision," he teased.

Raven tried to hit Cliff, but he dodged her with he ease.

"Now, now, we don't have time to waste. Stay close. In case you sense any enemies nearby, immediately light up a torch with one hand and just defend yourself. I'll do the offense."

"Fine, Nightboy," she grunted.

"Hey, I actually like that name," he joked.

The two proceeded on their journey, and if it wasn't for Cliff, Raven would have passed out already due to countless times of bumping into trees. Thankfully, he was kind enough to warn her before any impact.

Meanwhile, around three thousand kilometers to the east, Sky and his guild were also trying their best to find the boss first.

The forest, being illuminated by torchlights, were now much brighter for the Infinite Knights compared to before.

As planned, they separated into two equal groups.

"Team A! You go northeast," Sky commanded. "The others go with me. We're heading northwest. Stay close. We shall meet back at the bridge by seven tonight. Understood?"

"Yes sir!" they all cheered in unison.

"Let's go then!"

Team A consisted of Luna, Solar, Sniper, Viper, Thunder and Hydra, a perfect combination of attack-type players.

Team B, on the other hand, was mostly agility-type, which consisted of Sky, Eclipse, Tank, Rain, Fang and Lotus.

Sky had planned it to be like this so that his team would have the speed to run away in case of any threatening danger. Especially when he knew that Fang was a scaredy-cat, and would most probably escape before any orders were even made.

Team A, which mostly consisted of low-level players, yet with high attack stats, would have the strength to fight against any monsters. This way they would acquire more EXP faster and thus level up.

"Is it just me, or does this forest have no monsters?" Rain asked all of a sudden.

Saying that was a fatal mistake. From the gloom ahead of them shone numerous pairs of red eyes, glaring intensely at them.

"Are those..." Fang muttered.

The creatures energed from the darkness and flew straight at the six.

"Bats! Run!"

~Infinite Storm~

Cliff stared at the darkness ahead, then caught a glimpse of a trace of light.

"Raven, do you see that?" he asked.

She looked around, then declared, "Is that what I think it is?"

"Yes," he glanced, "and it looks almost as if it's getting nearer and nearer."

Before the two knew it a group of players were already rushing past them with torchlights in their hands, wailing in terror. On their tails were dozens of black bats desperately trying to hunt them down for food.

Several of the flying creatures noticed the Knights of Destiny, and knowing that they would most probably be an easier target, they started gliding towards the two.

Without being told, Raven immediately withdrew a torchlight from her inventory and leaped back, her dagger in her right hand.

"You might wanna stay back for this," Cliff warned her. "Apocalyptic Maelstrom!" He lifted his giant black sword then started spinning with tremendous speed, each bat that touched even the tip of its blade shattered into pieces.

Sky stopped right in his tracks and immediately turned back the moment he saw the man in the black cloak. The party too, stopped, awaiting for his command. Well, most of the party. Fang ran away in fear, not realizing that the bats weren't even chasing him anymore.

"Is that Cliff?" he muttered to himself. Sky threw down his torch, taking out his dual swords from the leather sheaths that hung on his back. "Mega Cross!" The warrior lifted his swords up high, then slashed down in the shape of the letter 'X'. A starburst of blue and green erupted, forming a cross, and every single bat ahead of him was banished from existence, their million pieces blown by the wind far far away.

In a flash the hundreds of bats that had once roamed the dark woods were gone, defeated by Cliff and Sky alone.

Cliff raised a hand at him, and waved. "Yo."

Sky stared at him with fascination and examined him. That skill, Sky thought, it's like nothing I've ever seen before. Such tremendous speed he has!

"Sky?" Cliff called out once again, but still he received no response.

And the fact that he was not using any light must mean his night vision skills are quite high. Perhaps even fully upgraded. What exactly is his true level?

"Sky!" Cliff patted him on the shoulder. The Infinite Knight flinched in shock, then looked straight into Cliff's black eyes.

"Oh, sorry. What?" he asked.

"Nothing. You just seemed to be lost in your thoughts. Are you alright?"

"Yeah," Sky replied. "I'm fine." The big bushes behind him suddenly started to shake, and Team B appeared.

"Sky," Tank informed, "we've lost track of Fang."

He opened his eyes widely, sweat trickling down the back of his neck. "He should be fine. If he doesn't go insane then he'll probably wait for us at the bridge," he said, trying to convince them, and also himself.

Raven approached Cliff and tugged his sleeve. "We better get going," she whispered.

"Right." He looked at Sky,"Till we meet again," the Shadow Knight said.

Then the two melted back into the shadows, and Sky watched as the torchlight on Raven's hand grew dimmer, and finally faded into nothingness.

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