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marybethgriggs > Otherworldly > 57 Expedition
The owl flew approached the monastery ruins at a low altitude before it shapeshifted mid-air into Leo. The elven mage landed deftly on the ground in front of Elias and Rivie, who were anxiously waiting for his return.

"Any news Leo?" Rivie approached him first without giving him much time to rest after his air acrobatics.

"It doesn't look good. There's a small empty space beyond the East gates, but we're going to be in an open space if we go that way. The rest of the city is filled with a mutated beast or so. What happened here?"

It was Elias' turn this time to give a report. "The mutated beasts launched a surprise attack at dawn. It seems that they've undergone some changes again. Each limb hummed as if it was a magick weapon. They can also explode before they die, causing massive damage as you can see."

Leo looked around at the rubble and the corpses around him. Even though the surviving guards and adventurers were clearing them out, it was more along the lines of putting the bodies to the side and taking adventurer tags. He even saw some of the defence forces looting the bodies for weapons or armour. Leo's thoughts pandered over to when he was also distributing his magick weapon cache. 'There's no point in hoarding them when Wildecross is about to fall.' With a sigh, he turned away from the looters.

Rivie poked him back to his senses. "So what do we do now? We can't keep defending here. We're on the losing end, Leo. Even I have trouble encouraging the survivors now."

Leo nodded solemnly before giving his brief answer. "Let me talk with Rosie first."

Rosie turned out to be his beastkin assistant who helped manage the adventurer guild affairs. She was holed up in a basement in a nearby building. Not many people knew about its existence. Leo placed his hand on the locked door's handle and briefly applied his mana through it. There was an audible click to indicate that the seal was undone. He pushed it open and quickly went inside before closing the door shut. Another click indicated that it was locked once more. To the naked eye, it seemed that Leo was simply entering through a locked door, however, the magick seals and physical contraptions raised the room's defence to a whole new level.

While he was waiting for his eyes to adjust to the darkness, he could hear the faint whirr and hum of machines and magick working together. He walked towards the figure loomed over a machine and a microphone. She was wearing a crude headset which muffled her hearing. It looked like she was looking over an old radio while wearing huge earphones. Even though she was a beastkin, she couldn't hear Leo entering the barricaded room.

"Rosie. I'm here." Leo tapped her shoulder lightly. He didn't want to surprise her.

"Kyaaa!" She still jumped from her seat. Taking off her headset, she looked at Leo. "Leo, you're back."

Dark circles enshrouded her eyes, and her tone was that of exhaustion. She obviously didn't have much sleep and rest since the last time Leo saw her.

"Heard anything from the other cities?"

"I lost contact with them a few days back. Only the capital, Treysia was able to respond for a while after that."

"How are they faring over there?"

Rosie shook her head and looked back at the screen. "I haven't heard from them two days ago. Last time they said that they were holed up in the castle. The beasts rapidly changed over there more than here. They called them the 'new types'.

Leo let out a sigh as he rubbed his eyes. "Two days is a long time. Even though this machine is rudimentary, it uses mana so it should be stable enough. We've placed them in secure positions in each city as well." He sighed once more. "Even the high-ranking officials know about its existence. They should be able to find someone who can operate it or even use it themselves."

"I know, that's why I've been waiting here and trying to contact anyone."

He nodded to show approval. "Good job Rosie. I can

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