Otherworld Adventure Book 8 Chapter 417
With their coalition moving into the forest, the front most group which belonged to Karen immediately encountered a pack of monkey-like monsters that swooped down from the trees and attacked them.
"Move up! We'll go support them! Keep your eyes on the trees and shoot down any monsters before they come down!" Ren ordered
"For the non-combatants, remember that if you see anyone injured, grab a shield, pull them back into the formation and immediately treat them!"
Ren's group quickly took action and immediately began shooting at the monsters and helping out Karen's group.
Cecilia's priest also came forward and began casting barriers on the Regulus Kingdom's young knights. Their 3 forces had already been working together for the past few days and they all had a tacit understanding of each other's forces.
They were now able to cooperate well together but it couldn't be said he same for the other 3 forces. They still didn't understand how each other operated so they decided to wait and see first.
Ren and the other 2 leaders noticed this but didn't find a fault in their actions. It was at least much better than trying to help and ruining their flow and control of the fight.
The Silvaria-Regulus-Revero coalition were able to quickly put an end to the monsters that came attacking and the group continued to move deeper and deeper into the forest.
Slowly, each faction in the group was able to find their place in the attack formation. It didn't take long before their monster clearing speed increased and so did their movement speed.
Unlike in the plains section, the forest section didn't particularly need the groups who entered it to destroy every monster in their path.
There were times when the group was able to find a much safer route around a pack of monsters and avoid a fight. The best part was that on their resting time during the night, the group was able to find a safe spot to camp out and stay safe from monster attacks.
The night watch was done in rotations and they didn't experience too many night attacks. With their bodies well rested, their clearing speed of the forest section was quite fast. However, after 2 days, 3 days, a week, 2 weeks, of traveling through the forest, they still couldn't find the exit.
"We've been marching through this damned forest and we still haven't reached the end..." Karen lightly complained.
In all honesty, it wasn't just her who was sick of it. Everyone present at the meeting was fed up and so were their members.
"...Maybe this section is just really large, perhaps?" Ren said trying to keep everyone from being too discouraged.
"We can't be sure about that. For all we know, we might have unwittingly stepped into some illusion formation while traversing through this forest and we're now stuck in it..." Gina from the Omnifaust Republic said.
"If we had stepped onto a formation, my people and I would have immediately detected it," the Kanhui family's young lady, Kanna, immediately quipped up.
The members of her family were rather skilled in magic and runic formations. They even used such formations for attacking and defending and it was largely due to them that their resting periods were without any interruptions.
Kanna Kanhui had a good amount of confidence to say that they hadn't stepped into any sort of formation after traveling through the forest.
"From what I see, I agree with what Mr. Ren said. This forest could just be that huge. Remember, these are the deity trials. There's no way it would be that easy in the first place!"
After being reminded of this fact, everyone present nodded in agreement. The trials from the deity of Midgard... there was just no way it would be that easy to complete, but this was just the first trial and it was only the second section.
They couldn't imagine what was in store for them in the proceeding stages. The dangers would be more prominent but so were the rewards. While they were fighting the monsters within this forest, the group learned that they could collect some very valuable materials from the monsters.
Even the meat gathered from the monsters after cooked and eaten turned out to be of much help to everyone's cultivation. Although they were annoyed by how long it was taking them to clear the first trial's second section, they didn't complain too much because they were gaining many benefits while staying in the forest.
Lately, many in the group had been taking the time to improve their cultivation during the resting periods which would then lead the group into taking a much longer break than what was originally planned, but it wasn't like anyone objected to it.
There were already a few in the group that had experienced a cultivation breakthrough so many more were eager to cultivate.
"We should just proceed as how we normally did since the beginning. We shouldn't dally here since there are most likely some groups who have already completed this section of the trials. I don't want us to fall behind and receive lesser rewards than everyone else," The Azure Falcon's leader, Han Cre, said.
"Yes, it's just like what Sir Han says. We shouldn't dally. The faster we get out of here, the quicker we can complete the first trial," Gina Omnae added in agreement.
Cecilia decided to remain silent, but from the looks of things, she too was in agreement of what Han Cre said.
In her mind, the faster she completed the trials, the quicker she could go home. She didn't want to complete it for herself, but rather for her sister who was going to be engaged in the near future.
Things were just getting good for her sister, but she was somehow dragged into the trials against her will. Thankfully, they were able to meet each other as soon as they arrived in the trials, but if they hadn't and her sister had suddenly died in here due to some reason without her knowing of it... it really did leave a bad taste in her mouth.
She was also the High Priestess of the Revero Church which was well-known for their omniscient future vision. When she was still just a fledgling priestess, she had once caught a glimpse of the future of her sister and it left her traumatize and over protective of her elder sister.
She had seen her die a horrible and gruesome death. Cecilia wasn't sure if or when this event would even take place but she didn't like it. She had thought that her sister's gruesome future might have been avoided after Celestina had taken a liking to Matheus and went to live with him, away from any sort of danger, but now that she was dragged into these trials, Cecilia was all the more worried for her.
'I won't let her die... I won't...' Cecilia inwardly vowed to herself.
She took a look around and furrowed her brows deeply. Her negative thoughts may have influenced her somewhat, but she began having a bad and ominous feeling. For a future-seeing priestess, her instincts and premonitions were things that she would take very seriously.
To others, it might just be a feeling, but to Cecilia, it was more of a sign. She was feeling a bit unwell right now so she immediately tried to voice her concerns to her comrades.
"Everyone, I feel like something dangerous might happen if we"
"AMBUSH! We're being attacked by monsters!"
"...Speaking of the devil..." Cecilia continued dejectedly.
"Well, looks like the High Priestess has hit the nail on the head. Let's go back and lead our groups in the defense. As usual, we'll have Princess Karen's knights take the lead," Han Cre said.
"Mhm, leave it to me. Ren, I trust that you have our backs?"
"Yes, of course."
"Great, let's get going then."
The attack wasn't anything dangerous. It was just like any other monster attack that they had already experienced. It didn't take long before they cleared away all of the monsters that attacked them.
They were lucky this time because the large pack of monsters that they had just cleared away had all dropped monster cores which could be used to aid in their cultivations. Everyone was ecstatic at the rewards but Cecilia still felt like something was off.
She once more voiced her concerns and the group immediately set off from their current location. They all believed in her ability as a high priestess of the Revero Church. There hadn't been even one time where her bad premonitions were off so they all took her concerns very seriously despite there not being any concrete evidence of there being any danger.
However, despite the group moving farther and farther away from their location, Cecilia's bad premonition still didn't go away. Instead, it continued to grow bigger and bigger as time passed.
'Lord...please, please let us all pass this trial safely... Please keep my sister safe...'
It was too bad that no matter how hard she prayed, there was nothing that could have prepared Cecilia and her group from what was to come.