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Chapter 700 Quest 
As soon as we stepped foot inside the cavern, we were met with an onslaught of hostile creatures from every direction. They were all ranked at approximately rank, and they came charging at us in large numbers.
The monsters ranged from large rodent-like creatures to large bats that screeched loudly, causing some people to cover their ears in order to protect them.
There would be an occasional
ranked beast, but they weren't anything threatening, given our numbers.
The howls of the beasts that were killed by the mercenaries who had been hired by the d.u.c.h.ess who stood at the very front of the a.s.sault echoed through the air, along with the sound of metal clashing against hard objects.
Sparks flew in the air, and a rusty smell started to linger in the air.
'She's stronger than Suriol.'
At the moment, my attention was directed toward the front, where the d.u.c.h.ess stood.
Her movements were so fluid and graceful, and her sword cut through the monsters like they were made of b.u.t.ter, severing them into two halves each time it pa.s.sed through one.
If she hadn't been conserving her strength for the Abyss Mammoth, none of the monsters would have made it to us, as she easily could have gotten rid of all of them on her own.
Amanda's arrows ripped through the bodies of the monsters in the distance in a matter of seconds, slicing through the air as if they were bullets and, at the same time, remaining silent.
She was like a silent reaper, reaping through the lives of the monsters without making the slightest of sounds.
If there were a compet.i.tion to determine who had the highest kill count, the winner would most likely be Amanda, as she was able to kill a monster every half a second on average.
Wherever her arrows went, a monster would die.
Even though many people were reserving their strength for the Abyssal Mammoth, her performance was still noteworthy as it drew the attention of the d.u.c.h.ess, which was what we had intended from the very beginning.
"Are you not going to make your move?"
I turned my head to look at Jin, who was keeping a low profile as he walked alongside me.
After a couple of seconds of silence, during which he continued to keep his attention fixed on the monsters in front of him, he murmured something to himself under his breath.
Before I could even finish my sentence, dozens of different monsters were impaled by spikes that rose from the ground.
Blood splattered, and the beasts fell to the ground, lifeless.
I blinked a couple of times in order to make sure that I was seeing right.
I wasn't the only one surprised by Jin's power, as I noticed the d.u.c.h.ess casting a glance our way.
Her expression didn't change, but it was clear that we had now been locked into her sights.
'That aside, I really need to find a way to clear their minds. It feels like everyone has suddenly entered their period.'
Somehow, unlike them, I was able to withstand the side effects of the demonic energy due to my strength, but even so, it was just barely enough, and hence why I was forced to come here.
However, in the case of the others, they were truly reacting badly to the demonic energy.
I don't even think I remember Amanda ever being this quiet.
She never was this quiet, even when we were in the Lock, and the fact that she has barely spoken to me at all over the past few days was something that I found to be quite unsettling.
"There's a lot more of these pests than I thought."
Priscilla mumbled to herself as she slashed her small sword through the air, easily cutting through one of the monsters that lunged at her from beneath the ground.
Falling to the ground with a light thud, she turned around where a burly demon wearing a large metallic armour stood.
"Uncle, how far are we from the Abyssal Mammoth?"
"We shouldn't be too far, d.u.c.h.ess."
The burly demon answered, his voice curt and somewhat distant.
The d.u.c.h.ess, who was already accustomed to her uncles' demeanour, refrained from making any further comments and instead turned her attention back to the candidates who were eliminating the monsters that she let pa.s.s through.
She turned her attention once more toward the demon, whom she addressed as "uncle."
"Have you found anyone interesting?"
He responded while casting a fleeting glance toward a few of the mercenaries who were fighting behind them.
"To this point, their abilities are adequate at best. Even though it won't be enough by the time we face the Abyssal Mammoth, their accomplishments aren't without praiseworthiness. In order for me to come to an accurate conclusion regarding their performance, I will need to see how they perform later along the lines."
Priscilla gave her uncle's a.s.sessment of the hired mercenaries a tacit approval by giving him a knowing nod.
With the actions of the other houses, it was no longer a secret that she was trying to use this opportunity to rope some demons toward her side.
Everyone who was present at the time believed that she was using the Abyssal Mammoth as a means by which to test their qualifications, which, while not entirely accurate, did have some truthful aspects to it.
However, because of this, Priscilla knew that some of the mercenaries were still holding back some of their strength.
This was the reason why she hasn't focused too much of her attention on the mercenaries up until this point.
Of course, the way some performed still inevitably captured her attention, and not just hers.
Priscilla was able to see that some of the demons were also focusing their attention on them; however, the demons' attention did not contain the least bit of goodwill.
When she realized this, she turned around to head deeper into the cave, a faint smile spreading across her face.
"…I wonder how they'll handle this."
In order for them to join her faction, they had to demonstrate, at the very least, the ability to deal with a couple of jealous demons.
Priscilla was curious to see who exactly could show her a good show.
"Hey guys…I think I'd be best if we calmed down for a bit. Although I was never against standing out, there's a limit. We're standing out way too much."
In a figurative sense, Jin and Amanda were like weapons of ma.s.s slaughter, as they were able to kill dozens of demons with every one of their movements.
Their performance was so good that it attracted the attention of most of the demons present.
They weren't much at first, but they were starting to become quite burdensome by now.
"So what if we attract attention?"
Melissa muttered something under her breath as she watched Jin and Amanda wreak havoc on the lives of the many monsters that were coming their way.
"Stop being a p.u.s.s.y. If some jealous demon comes, just slap him up a bit and let them know their place. Shouldn't you be capable of at least this much?"
They continued to attack the monsters with bloodthirsty expressions on their faces, completely ignoring my words, which led me to believe that not a single one of them understood the objectives I was trying to accomplish.
'Oh G.o.d, this is worse than I thought.'
It became painfully obvious to me that the demonic energy was quickly eroding their minds, and my heart jumped a little.
I knew that they were still safe for now, but what about in five months?
Will they retain any semblance of rationality at all by then, or will it be too late?
'I need to find the solution quickly.'
I had severely underestimated the density of the demonic energy on this planet.
"You know what? Go crazy. Do whatever you want. I don't care anymore."
I waved my hand, sighing.
' As long as I manage to strike a deal with the d.u.c.h.ess, standing out might not be too bad. I just hope the other houses won't start trying to recruit us...'
That's where things would truly become troublesome.
To my relief, the events did not play out in the manner in which I had originally antic.i.p.ated them to, as there was no demon that appeared to cause us any trouble for us.
It may have been because of the strength that we displayed, or it may have been because they were trying to save their strength in order to fight the Abyssal Mammoth, but regardless of the reason, it definitely worked in our favour.
Five hours into the raid.
After making a sharp turn, we found ourselves suddenly exposed to a tall opening, which was accompanied by the echoing sound of water splashing.
Instantaneously, everyone came to a complete stop and took a cautious look in the direction of where the sound came from, where they could just about make out the silhouette of a large creature lounging in what appeared to be a small lake.
'Follow me quietly.'
Following the d.u.c.h.ess's instructions, everyone moved stealthily from behind, and it was at that precise moment that everyone was able to get a look at the enormous creature.
A ma.s.sive shadow was cast over the area where we were standing, and an oppressive energy permeated the air, making it difficult to breathe.
The shadow was cast by something that towered over at least half the height of the top end of the cave, which was no shorter than a skysc.r.a.per,
In order to get a good look at the creature, given its sheer size, I had to crane my neck all the way back in order to see it properly, and as if that weren't enough...
My heart skipped a beat whenever it moved, as every single one of its movements caused the entire cavern to shake.
'This is definitely more than I signed up for...'
No, it actually was, and it was exactly because of this that I was starting to regret my decision.
...And what made things even worse was the sudden piercing sound of something splitting through the air as a silver object streaked through the air, impaling itself deeply into the creature's eyes.
Everyone froze, and the expression on my face completely hardened, and I robotically turned my head to look beside me, where Amanda was standing with a satisfied smile on her face.
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