Ashes of Gods Chapter 43: 4D Chess
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The two parties looked at the black and white terrain in front of them in surprise.
"What is this supposed to mean?" Leo asked.
"Not sure, maybe it's some kind of strategy game," responded Ryan as he made his way through the entrance.
However, before their doubts could develop any further, an interface appeared in front of them.
[Stand on Aida's light and glory is your call. Deviate to Lavador's path and divine punishment shall befall you]
"We should stand on just the white tiles. The black ones are bad." Ryan cut to the chase and explained the words of the trial perfectly. Shesmu was surprised by his quick judgement.
I guess it wasn't too difficult of a riddle, Shesmu thought. But still, good job, Ryan.
"Wait, how do you know it's the black tiles that are the bad ones?" Leo asked in confusion.
"The way it was worded makes it seem that way." This time, it was Sakura that responded. "Although, that's definitely a good question. There is nothing that confirms that the white tiles correspond to Aida, whoever she is."
Ryan scratched his chin for a second before saying, "Well, guess there is only one way to find out."
And he jumped on the white tile.
"See, nothing happened."
Ryan's temerity left both Leo and Sakura slack-jawed.
"Dammit Ryan, you really have no chill dude!"
"Wow, your friend really is the "do first, think later" type, huh," Sakura said while looking at Leo.
Leo scratched his head at Sakura's diss. "Ehh, he usually isn't this way." He then focused back on Ryan before looking at what was behind him. "Well, at least we now know for sure that the white tiles are safe. That leaves one issue… how are we supposed to deal with those guys in these conditions?"
Everyone's eyes drifted towards where Leo was staring at. Red furred wolves roamed the chessboard, while a huge monstrous wolf boss stood right in its middle.
"That's one big doggo!" Ryan exclaimed. "You think it would let me ride it?" He asked Shesmu excitedly.
Shesmu shook his head at Ryan's ridiculous question before saying, "Inspect it and you tell me."
Both Leo and Ryan followed Shesmu's direction. They looked at the Boss and used their skill on it, when Leo's face grew paler.
"Wh-What is that number?!!"
Ryuji and Sakura got curious from Leo's shout. They both used Inspect on the huge wolf and their eyes widened.
"One-One hundred thousand HP?!!" Ryuji exclaimed. "Isn't that way too strong for us?!"
Sakura gulped before responding with a calmer voice, "No, maybe it's not as insane as we make it to be. All the player parties are going to fight against the boss, so there's a chance."
"Yeah, there is always a chance." Ryan looked at the boss seriously before shrugging and breaking a smile. "It's just that we have to deal with an OP boss while making sure to stay on the white tiles."
"Ahh, that's gonna be a problem…" Leo said before joining Ryan on the white tile he was standing on. "But either way, we still have to deal with it. So let's give it our all."
"That's true." Ryan shrugged in response.
While the two were talking, Shesmu looked around the whole field. Other than the hundreds of monsters spread out over the chessboard, there were also many cave openings, just like the ones Shesmu and his friend came out of. He could see many players standing at the edge of the board, hesitating to jump in.
Since the white tile on which Ryan and Leo stood was already full, Shesmu jumped on another one before saying, "Okay everyone, let's focus now on killing all the mobs. We don't want them swarming on us while we try to take care of the boss."
"Ohh, as expected, Master! Great thinking!"
"Dammit Ryuji, stop praising his every action, will ya?"
Ryuji laughed awkwardly at Sakura's rebuttal while Ryan scratched his chin thinking.
"You know what would be a good idea? Everyone needs to join in the mob clear."
He then looked at all the players in the field before shouting at the top of his lungs, "Everyone! Listen to me!"
The world turned silent after Ryan's scream. Every pair of eyes on the chessboard focused on him and only him.
"Dammit Ryan, you're bringing unwarranted attention," Leo cursed under his breath.
Ryan didn't pay him any heed and continued with his speech. "The white tiles are safe, the black ones are not! Please make sure not to step on them."
He paused for a few seconds, waiting for everyone to check the veracity of his claim. Once everyone entered the chessboard, he continued, "What we need to do now is to clear the board from all the mobs. Only then can we fight the boss!"
Sound of murmurs swept across the field like waves in the ocean, when a burly man with a booming voice shouted, "What the little kid had said is right!"
The man wore a half plate armor and a big bronze shield. He took a few steps in front of his party before continuing, "We cannot afford to deal with the mobs while fighting the boss too. If we do, we will be wiped out!"
"You're right. Let's kill those sons of bitches!"
Leaders of various parties voiced their support before springing into action. Looking at this sight, Shesmu couldn't help but smile at Ryan. The aura he was emitting was truly that of a leader.
"Nice speech you got there." Shesmu patted Ryan on the back while grinning.
"Hehe, I'm not the party leader for nothing."
"Oh, yeah. That's true, you're the party leader. I kinda forgot about that."
"Oh dammit, Leo. You didn't have to do me like that!"
Leo laughed at Ryan's expense while Shesmu couldn't help but let out a small chuckle.
"Guys, shouldn't we start fighting too? Those guys are taking the lead."
Sakura's statement ignited the competitive spirit in both Ryuji and Ryan.
"Oh no, we need to start fighting too! We can't let them best us!"
"I'll be damned if they do. Hey Shes, let's see who can kill the most mob between the two of us!"
"Why does everything have to be a competition with you."
However, while Shesmu's mouth said one thing, his action told otherwise. He immediately jumped from one tile to the other, leaving Ryan behind.
"Hey, that's not fair!"
"Fairness is something only the weak complain about! Hahaha!"
While the two of them dashed from one white tile to the other, Leo stood behind them flabbergasted before following after them.
"Hey guys, wait for me!"
Sakura looked at the trio running around the chessboard and couldn't help but sigh.
"Sigh, they're really behaving like kids, aren't they? And here I thought Shesmu would be a bit more mature, guess even he has a childish side to him. Right, Ryuji?"
Sakura looked at her friend only to see his eyes shining like the brightest star.
"They're so cool!"
Sakura followed Ryuji's gaze only to see Ryan and Shesmu teleporting everywhere. Flashes of green and black painted the scenery, before the red of the wolves' blood took over.
"I guess they are," She responded. "Here, let's go help out too. I'll be support as usual."
"Thanks, Sakura," Ryuji said.
"Don't mind it."
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